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Thread: DK Tanking in Pandaria: Talents and Their Applications

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    DK Tanking in Pandaria: Talents and Their Applications


    Once again, DK tanks are about to undergo some radical changes with the advent of a new expansion. This shouldn't really be anything new to those of us in this class, as even Wrath of the Lich King had us undergo several major changes between the major patches. In Wrath, we found ourselves in a strange place as tanks, with 3 viable tanks specs in each tree, and eventually ending the expansion with blood tanking at the forefront due to the strong self-heals tied to deathstrike, frost pulling in second with what was, at the time, similar function to warriors, and unholy pulling up the rear of the specs in large part due to bone shield's weaknesses as a damage reduction tool at that time. All three suffered though as we had the liability of receiving more damage than our brethren in tanking. Blood tanking eventually took the lead when Blizzard introduced a stronger version of Will of the Necropolis which gave the squishy DK tank much needed damage reduction once pushed below 35% health. In 3.3, this talent made the blood tank more than just a novelty and was eventually nerfed, reducing the frequency which it could trigger.

    Fast forward into Cata, and we went through the major change of being placed squarely into blood tanking. The idea that Blizzard had originally fostered of a unique class with potentially three tank trees withered under the difficulty of trying to deliver on that promise. Blizzard also took steps towards homogenizing the 4 tank classes, with our notable gain from this being blood shield. This went a long way in making-up for the lack of damage reduction devices that DK's had in comparison to those that warrior and paladin have always had. Through the expac, mastery became more and more important for the DK tank, pushing this class (at least) into a spot that Blizzard had stated that it did not want to go with the tanks..... mastery stacking and stam stacking. Talents changed once again, with DK's gaining the once-snubbed bone shield as part of its tanking repetoire once again, but in a useful manner. It also became commonplace for tanks to reach into the frost tree for Lichborne, making use of a macro to take advantage of a runic power-fueled self-heal through the used of death coil on ourselves.

    Now we find ourselves on the eve of a new expansion, and talents are changing once again. This time however, we don't have talent trees to contend with, or being shoe-horned into a line of optimal talents. Yes, we are seeing a touch more of Blizzard's attempt to homogenize the tank classes, but we are seeing across the board, for tanks at least, greater utility in the talents.

    All talents will be broken down by their "tier", with a grade of the talent for usefulness and strength of it in tanking situations on a scale of 1 through 10 (1 lowest, 10 highest).

    TIER ONE: Level 56 Talents

    Again, we find ourselves in an unusual place as we are the only "hero" class, and start off at 55. Previously, we gained swaths of talents rapidly and we filled the trees out in rapid manner. This is again the case, as we gain talents in our first few levels gained.

    Roiling Blood (Score: 6)



    An excellent talent for a DK tank, but this one will require a change to how we normally would approach tanking. In the past, blood boil sat on the sidelines as a lackluster ability that provided weak AoE aggro for a DK. This talent would tie in one of our major abilities for spreading diseases throughout mobs and base AoE threat management management tools in with blood boil. Essentially, this would give us a two-for-one bang-for-the-buck ability with blood boil that epidemic gave us. This in theory, should help us step up our initial AoE threat when tanking, and help ensure that it stays ahead as we progress through an encounter. A good AoE tank tool, but of negligible use in single-target tanking.

    Plague Leech (Score: 2)



    This talent appears as a DK version of the rogue talent Redirect. Instead of losing the diseases which we had placed on a target near death, we're able to scavenge these for a free death rune. This could be of use in multi-target tanking, where we are assured that a target is going to drop and could benefit from the free resources as we change to a new target, but overall, appears to be a talent targeted more towards questing, where opponents will have short lifespans. It could also see use for a DK in a PvP setting, however, its use will be limited in being used only on targets upon whom the outcome is not in doubt, as in PvP, you would not want to lose the damage bonus diseases grant our other abilities when trying to finish an opponent off.

    Unholy Blight (Score: 8)



    An interesting talent for us, as it gives the DK tank another tool to rapidly spread diseases around a large number of targets in a hurry. This effectively would reduce the rotation needed to establish AoE diseases on mobs from at least two global cooldowns to one. It's not a strong tool for snap aggro however as diseases have never hit hard enough to rapidly ramp up threat. A good parallel for this ability would be the paladin's Consecrate, or to look at this as a player-centered Death and Decay. Overall though, and excellent DK ability for any spec, and for a DK tank in a multi-target or even single-target encounter.


    TIER TWO: Level 57 Talents


    Lichborne (Score: 6)



    A DK tanking mainstay returns mostly unchanged. Still the useful talent that it once was, and still dependent upon having runic power (and a little macro magic) to make it a worthwhile self-heal tool. Again, the downside to this talent is that the strength of the self-heal per Death Coil has never been amazingly strong, and the cost in runic power resources to maximize effectiveness take a little away from this talent. Best used as a self-heal in a last ditch situation where Death Strike or Rune Tap were not available. The added bonuses of immunity to charm/fear/sleep effects remains to be seen. Those have not been significant issues for tanks in PvE environments as of late. I don't anticipate this changing as the amount of hate and discontent Blizzard would face would likely result in a rapid nerf to that mechanic.

    Anti-Magic Zone (Score: 8)




    Again, another mainstay from the DK class returns to us, but once again, we steal a well-qualified talent from the Unholy tree and make it available to all. This is again, another crack at homogenization for Blizzard as we are seeing DK tanks gain a raidwide cooldown to match the ones that have been available to warrior tanks, paladin tanks, and to a lesser (and riskier degree) druid tanks. It's a strong ability in the sense that it does give us an additional magic damage reduction for not only ourselves, but for the whole raid/party, and it's even on a short cooldown, that would allow a DK tank to alternate this with Anti-Magic Shell to some degree. This is a strong talent as, historically, damage reduction tools that are effective versus magic effects of any type have typically been few and far between. In Wrath, DK's did have a spell reflect talent, but this was removed in Cata. Also, there were very few trinkets in Cata that offered much in the way of magic damage protection beyond additional stamina. A little sadly, takes away one of the unique strengths of the unholy tree and spreads it throughout the other DK specs, so, hopefully Blizzard will balance this out by making unholy a more compelling dps tree in exchange.

    In a nutshell, this gives a DK another magic damage reduction tool, and in a world bereft of those, this is a strong advantage.

    Purgatory (Score: 7)



    This talent could be unbelievably strong for a DK in certain circumstances. I really wanted to give this higher value over Anti-Magic Zone but just couldn't due to two limiting factors. First, the duration of this is 3 seconds. 3 seconds COULD very well make or break a tank's survival with this talent. An overpowering strike that normally would be overkill is staved off and a healer has one last chance to keep the DK tank alive. You are probably thinking, "What are the downsides to this? This is great!"

    My first issue here is, if the damage the DK is receiving is that heavy where they dropped to this point to begin with, it's likely the DK/Healer tandem were struggling to keep the DK up anyway, and have likely only delayed the inevitable ..... tank death. Secondly... it only gives the healer 3 seconds to bring the DK back up into positive numbers. For some healers, this isn't an issue, as a paladin could slap Lay On Hands. Again though, if the healer was struggling to keep the DK up anyway, they now are racing against the clock to do something that they were struggling with anyway.

    Third issue? 3 min cooldown. This normally wouldn't or shouldn't be an issue, as simply having this talent is a tool of last resort. 3 minutes is an eternity in raid and essentially, you might only have the opportunity to make use of this talent twice at most in a raid. Even then, it's not something to brag about having to use.

    Essentially, this is Will of the Necropolis' baby brother. What I don't like is that it requires damage to bring the DK down to the point of death before being useful.

    The upside to this? It's an incredible anti-wipe tool and gives a tank/healer tandem a great last chance to pull off a save. Also, this talent doesn't state the source of the heals, so it is entirely possible that the 3 seconds granted allow the DK to make use of a Death Strike or any of their other tools to help stave off death.

    I really wanted to like this talent more, but the situation that it demands for it to be used is such a horrible scenario that I can't emphatically and wholeheartedly advocate this talent. If you're at the point of death, and you're relying on a talent to save the day like this, I'm sorry, but the tank/healer tandem is frankly doing something wrong in PREVENTING death from occurring to begin with. It's nice.... but the duration of the effect needs to be extended, or the cooldown needs to be shortened, preferably the former.

    Edit: This talent does not replace Will of the Necropolis. We still retain WotN in MoP. This talent "supplements" the durability increase by giving us another death-prevention device.


    TIER THREE: Level 58 Talents


    Death's Advance (Score: 5)




    This talent makes a rather pathetic attempt at resolving one of the DK's true weaknesses as a tank by increasing our movement speed. In the past, we've been able to gain an 8% movement buff from a readily available boot enchant, and I don't envision that changing much. This gives us a 30% boost, on-demand, and the ability to negate any slowing effects completely when activated, and reduces our susceptibility to these fairly significantly passively. It could have significant usefulness as an on-demand ability also. A fair example would be Sindragosa, where a DK tank would have had a stacking slow effect placed on it by the boss. Is it a guarantee that this talent would even work in that situation?..... No. As Blizzard has been known to set-up boss mechanics to override abilities for the sake of making an encounter function in a suitably threatening manner. This talent isn't really outstanding, but it's a far cry better than the other options at this tier, granting this the score that it did earn.

    Note: Again we see a step towards homogenization, where DK's gain an ability very similar to the paladin's Pursuit of Justice speed boost.

    Chillblains (Score: 4)



    Chillblains....
    As much as I love this talent in the frost tree, for tanking, it's a benchwarmer. It SOMETIMES.... on very rare occasion.... will have usefulness for an OT in a raid. Typically on trash pulls or on adds on a boss (think... Maloriak.... Cho'Gall.... Nef with the skeleton adds in P1 and P3..... Ragnaros....). A lot of times though, a slow can be a hinderance in positioning. Many times, slows aren't even effective on bosses.

    This talent could be a true boon to a DK tank in the right encounter. In the wrong encounter, it could actually be a liability. A true utility ability with equal pro's and con's.

    Asphyxiate (Score: 3)



    YES!!!! FINALLY!!! I can finally live out my fantasy of being the World of Warcraft Death Knight "Darth Vader" and subject my will upon those whose lack of faith in the power of the dark side I find "disturbing".......

    .... and then I wake up and realize this totally awesome stun will probably be next to worthless against most, if not all, bosses and many of the mobs we'll encounter in raids. We'll probably see more usefulness with this in dungeons, particularly on trash mobs, as a useful silence/interrupt/stun, but for raid, I suspect its usefulness will quickly taper off.

    Chances are, this will be useful as a silence against some mobs.... but then again.... this replaces Strangulate and does not add an additional ability to our toolbox. Still, depending on the situation, this could be a great talent to have, but it wouldn't be part of my standard "build" and would be something I would keep sitting on the side for the right spots....

    ..... which is a real shame, as my dreams of this.......



    .... have been somewhat dashed against the wall of "raid mechanics".

    Note: This is once again, another homogenization.... matching us up with Concussion Blow, Hammer of Justice, and Bash.

    Last edited by Leucifer; 08-20-2012 at 10:28 PM.
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    DK Tanking in Pandaria: Talents and Their Applications: Part Two

    TIER FOUR: Level 60 Talents


    Death Pact (Score: 8)



    Another talent that was "pre-existing". Except in this case, it was a general DK ability shared by all specs. It finds its way here as a talent though, but still available to all specs if desired. This is a strong talent at present as it allows the DK to restore 50% of his health in rapid fashion, so long as he has the runic power to summon a ghoul (or geist if glyphed). With this talent and Raise Dead both on 2 minute timers, this gives a DK tank a solid and somewhat reliable health burst every two minutes if they manage their resources correctly. A very strong talent in its present incarnation.

    Death Siphon (Score: 3)



    Really, a fairly weak talent from my perspective. Yes, this has the potential to do more healing than listed as it is likely improved by attack power and runeforges. On the downside, a 40 yard range is not usually an issue for a DK tank in encounters and this will likely be a small fraction of health compared to the health totals we'll see in MoP.

    Note: Notably absent are any cooldowns and resource requirements for this talent. Likely a mistake on the Blizzard webpage which I ripped this from. Indications from Wowhead show a cost of one death rune and a 1 sec gcd, and scaling to approximately 40% of your attack power.

    Conversion (Score: 6)



    When I first saw this talent, I was pretty excited as this is an analogue to warrior/druid enraged regeneration. Then I took a look at the other talents it's lined up against and some of its limits, and was a bit disappointed. Going off a little quick mental math, assuming a conversion rate of 10 runic power per second, this will give us a heal of 30% of our health at a minimum. This can, of course, be manipulated with vampiric blood for greater effect, but still, this is less than the 50% afforded through death pact, which can ALSO be increased through vampiric blood.

    Also, this has some limitations. It maximizes only upon a full runic power bar, meaning you'll need the bar topped of to max it out. The conversion rate is slow compared to the flash refill of Death Pact. Lastly, this also limits run power generation during its effect. This will prevent Scent of Blood and any other automated runic power generating abilities from adding back to the runic power bar until this exhausts itself.

    In the end, it's nice, but not as nice as the guaranteed 50% instant heal from Death Pact.

    Note: This is again, another example of homogenization between the classes.


    TIER FIVE: Level 75 Talents


    Blood Tap (Score: 8)




    A nice talent for those who know how to manage their resources or who like to sit on resources and hold them. A nice talent for a conservative player who carefully measures out their strikes or who wants to have a little bit of a fail-safe to fall back on when it comes to resources. The only real downsides are: 1) it's going to take a few rune strikes or death coils to build up and those are dependent on runic power which is generally generated with runes anyway, so it will have that ramp-up time associated with it. 2) .... it'll likely be our rune strikes that generate the resource necessary for it and considering that, it'll likely be 30 seconds or so before you build up enough charges for anything. 3) it's yet ANOTHER resource to manage and keep an eye on on top of our runes AND runic power. How much more crap do we need on our plate? Not that we'll be watching it the whole fight, but I can guarantee DK's will be watching to make sure blood charges are built up and stored up.

    In all honesty, this IS a pretty solid talent and expands on the previous version a bit by giving us possibly 2 replenished runes. It just comes with the cost of yet another thing to demand our attention. The real strength of it though it being able to hold something in reserve for a sorely needed Death Strike or other cooldown combination. This would likely be my personal choice due to my play-style, but might not be the best of the talents for this tier.

    Runic Empowerment (Score: 3)



    Another nice ability for rune management. Again, this plays off of our runic power abilities, but could have much more bang for the buck, depending on the situation. The one thing about it that I'd suggest paying close attention to it that it specifies "a random fully-depleted rune". That worries me for the following reasons.

    1) It specifies fully depleted rune. The way runes currently work, both runes of a particular set are linked together and refill as one unit. They don't renew independently of one another as they did back in Wrath. So, you technically will ONLY have a "fully-depleted" rune only when both runes of a set have been utilized. If you deplete only one of the pair, it starts replenishing immediately. So, this talent really only comes in to play when you are exhausting rune pairs completely..... somewhat risky. We usually want to manage our rune and not set ourselves up for "rune blackouts"

    2) 45% chance. I say that again... 45% chance. This means our wonderful friend RNG is being brought into play. To be fair, this is a fairly solid chance at 45%, but still, do you really want to pin your resources and potentially your survival to chance. As tanks, we typically go to great lengths to eliminate chance as a factor, yet this talent forces the issue. At best, this COULD be pretty amazing and replenish depleted runes regularly.... but you also run the risk of a rune blackout and hoping that you catch a break. Myself.... I'd rather use my resources wisely, and maybe a little more conservatively.

    3) It only procs off rune strikes. If it were off any strike, or even rune-activated ones, it'd be a better gamble. This really limits the conditions which can generate this effect.

    So, as this one stands, a better dps talent. Really, not worth the risk for a tank. RNG is generally NOT our friend.

    Runic Corruption (Score: 7 .... potentially a 9)



    This talent actually gives me a little bit to chew on opposed to Blood Tap. It procs off of the same abilities as the other two of this tier, but the advantage to this talent is that it affects a global increase in replenishment rate for all runes. On the downside, it still relies on RNG, which I'm not inclined to favor, but again, as this could hasten the replenishment of our full set of runes, this has the potential to be amazingly good. Over the course of a long fight, this could generate a significant increase in available runes for a DK. It's certainly better than runic empowerment, which depends on there existing a fully-depleted rune. My only hesitation with it lies in the fact that it doesn't give us an "on-demand" fail-safe like Blood Tap does.

    I would advise this talent for a DK that has a more aggressive play-style and maybe has room-to-breath, so to speak, when it comes to tanking. It certainly is an appealing talent and might be one of the strongest talents available to us in MoP. This tier will be one that I'll be experimenting with and will hopefully have some logs to bring to the table for examination.


    (NEXT TIER - UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!)
    Last edited by Leucifer; 08-20-2012 at 10:14 PM.
    No one tanks in a void.........

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    I must say I completely disagree with you on purgatory. The uses it has are great, but it will depend on fight mechanics. Its a cd to help with the 80% to dead in 1 hit mechanics such as hour of twilight on ultrax or impale on madness. pop that and a well timed greater heal hitting shortly after and you're fine. You seem to be looking at it from the tank's health dwindling down perspective when that isn't how every boss kills the tank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captanmurdoc View Post
    I must say I completely disagree with you on purgatory. The uses it has are great, but it will depend on fight mechanics. Its a cd to help with the 80% to dead in 1 hit mechanics such as hour of twilight on ultrax or impale on madness. pop that and a well timed greater heal hitting shortly after and you're fine. You seem to be looking at it from the tank's health dwindling down perspective when that isn't how every boss kills the tank.

    I don't think we completely disagree. It has some great potential.... but you're right. It will depend on fight mechanics. With the example you provide, Ultrax with Hour of Twilight or Impale on Madness, this would be an incredible talent to have. Again, it also depends on the tank/healer team being able to help the tank recover from that fairly rapidly.

    For heavy spike damage mechanics, it's a great insurance device. I just happen to be a firm believer in the idea that we need to approach fights in a way to prevent or minimize that event's occurrence, which is why I favor Anti-Magic Zone. It's still a great talent and has its place.... I won't deny that, and I'd likely (never say never) criticize a fellow DK tank on running with that talent. I mainly created this post to get some good, solid discussion around these DK talents going, and to try and breathe a little life back into the "tank theorycrafting" that started TankSpot, so please.... I welcome your thoughts, comments, and criticisms.

    Note: I should add that Will of the Necropolis is still one of our abilities in MoP and should activate alongside this. Purgatory does not replace this. I will edit the entry to clarify that point.

    No one tanks in a void.........

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    Yea, I will agree on most fights or running heroics or something AMZ will most likely be superior, but i'm currently looking at talents on a fight to fight raid boss basis, optimize for the fight then change for the next. The rest of your talent choices I agree with you on for the most part. One thing though is I don't see a cooldown on death siphon in the picture you posted for it. Not sure if that is correct but if so it may be a nice talent to take on some fights as a way to give constant smooth healing over the entire duration of the fight coupled with death strike for the fights where a big burst heal isn't as needed, more of a mana saver for the healers than anything. Just something to keep in mind. I don't see myself ever taking conversion without it getting some decent buffs though.

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    Here's the thing Cap.... I think this will also be dependent on which setting you're in. The way I see it, AMZ I think will be the more flexible talent to run with for dungeons and 10's. For 25's however, where you're more likely to have at least one other DK that can carry AMZ for the raid, I'd run with Purgatory as the tank.

    And you touch on a big change (which I've yet to address in another post I'm intending).... is that Blizzard's stated intention for talents is that these can be changed up from fight to fight to be tailored to the encounter. The days of "this is the best spec.... thou shalt run with these talents only!".... that idea isn't entirely dead, but it's no longer going to be the status quo. That said, there are some talents which clearly have strong PvP applications, but weaker PvE utility.... and vice versa. Those are a couple of the reasons I went with a "score" instead, as each talent may have some PvE usefulness, but some conform to the expectations a little better.

    Death Siphon.... I included some info regarding cooldown and it's scaling. Only cooldown at this moment (might change in the next 12 hours) is the GCD. I can see where it could be used by someone to keep a steady flow of health incoming (especially if it's paired up with something like Chillblains.... I can see this happening in PvP). The issue there would be working it into the rotations... it costs one death rune. You have to ask at some point:

    Is Death Siphon x2 > Death Strike + Blood Shield ?

    Probably not. BUT.... in a fight where you're not parked on the boss the whole time, and there are breaks where you can't reach them (Atramedes for example).... this would be a nice way for a DK to keep damage and threat up on the boss, and provide themselves with some incoming heals while they aren't actively tanking. So.... Death Siphon could be handy in fights like Atramedes, Onyxia, the Eagle Boss in ZA (during lightning phase).... and could come in handy for an OT in kiting situations.... Lady Deathwhisper comes to mind, where you are going to take small hits while kiting an abomination, but you also want to keep your distance from it. Another on that comes to mind immediately would be Rotface, kiting the slimes. this paired with Chillblains or Death's Advance would help an OT keep their health up while keeping their distance from the add.

    I'll be definitely playing around with a lot of these in some of those fights to see how they work against these mechanics. Blizzard reuses mechanics a lot, and if we can find good uses for these in previous content, chances are, we'll find something in MoP analogous to it.

    Last edited by Leucifer; 08-21-2012 at 03:44 PM. Reason: Dammit.... wrong Tuesday. -_-
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    So I understand Purgatory, since I find the tool tip somewhat confusing. So, an attack that would otherwise kill you, wraps you in a shield that absorbs healing equal to the amount of damage, but if the healing does not equal or exceed the amount of damage that caused the shield you die?

    Are we back to the days of dedicated tank healers? I assume to really make it work there'll need to be communication between tank and healer. Also, this talent is probably death with a Disc Priest (that's said somewhat tongue in cheek).

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    The basic idea behind Purgatory is that you're allowed to go into "negative" health for up to 3 seconds, and will survive so long as heals bring you back into the "positive" before that time is up. You're not officially dead..... yet. So yes, the basic idea is that a DK tank could take a killing blow with say, 20k overkill, and keep tanking for up to 3 seconds past that point and maybe even survive that event if ANY incoming heals (including Death Strike) can heal them 20k+. The real downside is that, once brought back into the positive.... you'll still likely be low on health and will require significant effort to get you back up. Again.... like Cap said above.... it'd be great for things like Impale, where the DK tank is going to take an unavoidable massive hit, and would not survive. It'll shine in slow (lower frequency), heavy hit fights. It'll be a great insurance talent for "bad luck".

    As for the "shield", the Shroud of Purgatory, it may well be a similar effect to blood shield, or some other absorb. My guess is that Blizzard is using that mechanic due to potential conflicts arising from the various mehcanics surrounding death. Fair example: how would this interact with the battle rez mechanic in a raid? Would it count against that total if it were an "insta-rez"? The DK would lose all buffs also if they technically "died".

    As to the issue of dedicated tank healers, not necessarily. This could alleviate the need for a dedicated tank healer, or at least reduce the workload on them. Say, on a fight with two healers, this would essentially allow for a healer to "slip up". Instead of having to worry about having a dedicated tank healer trying to keep a tank topped-off all the time in order to compensate for a large hit, this could allow for fewer healers, so long as they understand that if the DK hits "zero", they need to do something dramatic in a hurry. It might actually allow raid teams to run "looser margins" and not have to play things as "safe" as they otherwise might. Fights that are dps races, like Ultraxion, where a raid team might benefit from running with fewer healers and more dps, this talent might allow that group to pull off a win.

    Overall though, the tank and healers should have good communication anyway. A tank/heal tandem that is used to running together, and know each other's play-style.... is really hard to beat. Even if it's not a dedicated tank healer, I've always been of the mindset that the two need to work closely and make sure they're on the same page.

    As for a Disc Priest, I don't see them suffering any. From a disc perspective, if I saw my DK tank crump and knew this kicked in, I'd still slap a bubble on them (disc priest bubble doesn't overwrite blood shield, and likely won't affect this either) and slap my most effective heal on them as the DK is likely due to take another incoming hit in rapid fashion and will need to survive that also. Again, what's the typical boss swing timer? The hit that drops a DK into Purgatory activation WILL be followed up with another attack.... so any sort of damage reduction that can be applied is going to be of HUGE benefit. Hell, I might even hit pain suppression at that point. Yes, the DK will lose some threat (possibly all), but if they die, they'll lose all threat anyway. If they live, they can always taunt, or use a threat increase (DRW) to re-establish themselves. Or, ideally, the other tank (if 2 tank fight) will taunt off buying the DK the needed respite. Again... this is where that familiarity with your healers/tanks REALLY will start to show.

    No one tanks in a void.........

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    Roiling Blood (Score: 6)

    An excellent talent for a DK tank, but this one will require a change to how we normally would approach tanking. In the past, blood boil sat on the sidelines as a lackluster ability that provided weak AoE aggro for a DK. This talent would tie in one of our major abilities for spreading diseases throughout mobs and base AoE threat management management tools in with blood boil. Essentially, this would give us a two-for-one bang-for-the-buck ability with blood boil that epidemic gave us. This in theory, should help us step up our initial AoE threat when tanking, and help ensure that it stays ahead as we progress through an encounter. A good AoE tank tool, but of negligible use in single-target tanking.
    I disagree a little. I think this deserves a higher score. Here is why. Roiling Blood allows your blood boil to refresh your diseases even on single targets. Pestilence refreshes your diseases on every target except your main target, thus leaving pestilence usesless on single targets. Unholy blight would refresh as well, however with a 2 minute cooldown and outbreak now at a minute cooldown you would still need to use an unholy rune and a frost rune(or some combination of 2 frost, death and unholy) at least a few times every boss fight to reset diseases. I would much rather use a single blood rune and switch back and forth with that and outbreak than use up a potential death strike in a boss fight.

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    As disc, I would say bubble for the haste buff and the protection from additional strikes, Gheal with the haste buff and penance and you will probably still have an undead tank (c wut i did thar?).

    I also agree about switching talents. I think this is true for every role and spec. I know I will be making it manditory for all raiders to bring a stack of Tome of the Clear Mind to raids. No more wondering if the dk has chillblains for Magmaw or a druid with unglyphed typhoon, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelli View Post
    I disagree a little. I think this deserves a higher score. Here is why. Roiling Blood allows your blood boil to refresh your diseases even on single targets. Pestilence refreshes your diseases on every target except your main target, thus leaving pestilence usesless on single targets. Unholy blight would refresh as well, however with a 2 minute cooldown and outbreak now at a minute cooldown you would still need to use an unholy rune and a frost rune(or some combination of 2 frost, death and unholy) at least a few times every boss fight to reset diseases. I would much rather use a single blood rune and switch back and forth with that and outbreak than use up a potential death strike in a boss fight.
    Unfortunately, Roiling Blood does not refresh on single target, that would be Scarlet Fever's passive effect doing the refreshing. Perhaps mention that in the analysis of it to avoid further confusion?

    As for the rune regeneration tier I feel that I should mention those math people at (I apologize if I shouldn't bring them up, haven't been to Tankspot's forum section before ) Elitist Jerks determined that Runic Empowerment does give the highest literal rune regeneration by a fair amount, which means many more potential death strikes. However like you said, I agree that having both sets of runes for death strike on cooldown is a risky proposition. Personally I prefer Runic Corruption as it allows me to save a pair of runes for a ready death strike in case a big hit comes in and still get use out of the talent. It also goes great when there's other targets to kill as Runic Corruption combined with a Soul Reaper buff results in extremely fast regenerating runes.
    Last edited by Amilarah; 10-08-2012 at 10:37 PM. Reason: Specifying Scarlet Fever component

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelli View Post
    I disagree a little. I think this deserves a higher score. Here is why. Roiling Blood allows your blood boil to refresh your diseases even on single targets. Pestilence refreshes your diseases on every target except your main target, thus leaving pestilence usesless on single targets. Unholy blight would refresh as well, however with a 2 minute cooldown and outbreak now at a minute cooldown you would still need to use an unholy rune and a frost rune(or some combination of 2 frost, death and unholy) at least a few times every boss fight to reset diseases. I would much rather use a single blood rune and switch back and forth with that and outbreak than use up a potential death strike in a boss fight.
    absolutely, i agree 100% to me its a 10. this talent in tier 1 makes the others absolutely useless. Also when i get the free proc from strikes it lets me refresh my diseases on a single boss fight with no runes used.

    Someone mentioned scarlet fevor... yes but then again i thought we were talking tanks...

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    lol yes the corruption and soul reaper trick is very nice in aoe tanking. and i thought i was the only one who had noticed it :P

    but it seems the haste from soul reaper is only giving us 5 sec instead of 10 like the tool tip notes. i posted a bug report to blizz about it, maybe a few more from others would get it noticed earlier?


    using this trick i have had my rune regeneration below 3 sec. you drop soul reaper on an add just before it dies to benefit from the haste. its a beautiful thing to behold
    Last edited by Vilelated; 10-09-2012 at 06:19 AM.

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    I used Blood Tap for a while when doing the nerfed heroic raids in Cata, however, I have since switched to Runic Corruption and have not looked back. I like Blood Tap's ability to save runes, for sure, but RC is pretty consistent at getting what you need, in a very workable time frame. I keep reading simcrafters saying that empowerment returns more runes, and indeed it does, if you actually use them when they are up. Such an m.o. works fine for a DPS, but tanks want to time their attacks for that big Shield. You give corruption a potential 9 and I have to agree with you. I would probably put it over Blood Tap, because over a longer fight it will provide a smoother return that lines up with a boss's attack rhythm, without compromising DPS potential.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vilelated View Post
    Someone mentioned scarlet fevor... yes but then again i thought we were talking tanks...
    We are, Scarlet Fever is a Blood Death Knight passive ability. It makes our Blood Boil refresh our diseases and applies the Weakened Blows effect to all targets it hits. http://www.wowhead.com/spell=81132/scarlet-fever.
    It should also be in your spellbook, and in the WoW official talent calculator under Blood spec specific abilities list.

  16. #16
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    DK Tanking in Pandaria: Talents and Their Applications

    Love the thread guys. Any chance of a full blown Blood DK Tanking Guide, on par with some of the other tanking class guides available here on tankspot?

    Edit: just saw the 5.0.5 guide, didn't come up in my forum search for some reason :/

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