Handling runes as a Blood tank.
I've recently started playing Blood tank, and its going prety well. I'm having tons of fun, and the class/specc fits me perfectly. The only thing is that I'm having some major problems with handling runes. I feel I continuesly press whatever button light up first on my actionbar, and thus not having the maximized effect.
Could anyone give me some pointers or tips on how to better handle my runes?
You almost always want to have runes recharging, so try not to sit on fully recharged rune pairs
I take Runic Empowerment, though i assume the following is true for Blood Tap specs as well. Runic Empowerment means that when i rune strike i have a chance to refresh a full depleted rune. If i make sure i always have at least one blood rune available then i can force RE procs to activate the depleted Frost/Unholy runes.
However you usaully will want to time your Deathstrikes to either proactively shield or reactively heal after a big damage. S what i usauly end up doing is getitng a DS off, followed by HS, which puts one of every rune on CS, and then waiting, I'll then use the second DS either 5 seconds later to maximise the amount of damage i've taken (and boost the DSheal), or as soon as the first Blood shield is fully consumed (usually it will be) and then dump what RP i have with Rune strike.
Also, it really helps to be able to track your runes easily. I use the addon Blood Shield Tracker. It gives me three displays that I place where I can see them easily even when I have to watch the mobs closely (e.g. not in the corners).
Runes - it can display these in several ways. I prefer the bars that diminish as the rune refresh cd is counting down.
Estimated heal - This can be very useful if, like Teng, you want to maximize the heal from your DS
Remaining Blood Shield - This is also very useful if you want to build up an extra large shield prior to a mechanic. Remember that the blood shield stacks if you add to it before it expires.
Honestly, Teng's method is probably better than mine. What I do is always DS when I can. I never heart strike unless I have blood runes. I prioritize rune strike over heart strikes. This is so that I have blood runes available and the rune strike is more likely to give me more DS. If I have a single frost/unholy/death rune, I wait for a pair to ds with again and I do not heart strike, unless I have a blood rune.
Also remember, DK threat and damage is really good right now. A lot of the job is retraining your mind. You are not a crunchy dps. You don't have to be pressing buttons all the time to hold threat (watch Omen too). As blood, you will have to remind yourself of that until you can pace your rune usage the way you want for survivability. Almost any dps role kind of trains you the opposite. If you are not hitting something you could be hitting, you are losing dps (rogues and kitties are kind of the exception since they pool sometimes).
There are a number of addon's that assist in tanking. One of the most over looked by newbies is Tidy Plates. while the base wow nameplates are okay, Tidy plate options can change how you tank. if your a new tank, assistance with priority's and rotations is a big deal. While I recommend eventually weening off it for tanking, clcDK makes for some nice training wheels. you'll hear lots of different opinions, here and elsewhere, about rune management. there's so many styles. you don't see it recommended very often anymore but I still love DKinfo's. tho, I do turn off the big sword as fast as I can. gl hf!