DK Tanking FAQ - 4.3 [NOT CURRENT]

Death Knight
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Looking at your builds, OP, I am puzzled by several things. You have virulence in both builds, which, in all honesty, makes zero sense because death knight tanking you won't be using that many spell powers, so the extra hit chance is going to waste. Since virulence specifically states it only affects attacks that don't use your weapon (which means things like death coil, and some of your AE affects) and other than for maybe pulling icy touch is something out of the question, this becomes more of a wasted talent IMO. Personally I would take improve Death Grip, just for the simple fact it's an auxiliary taunt and having it cooldown faster is very useful.

Then of course you complain about runic power, then contradict yourself saying 3 points in Scent of Blood is wasted, yet in my experience this is just not the case. Ontop of that, as small as it might seem, I found Butchery with the 2 runic every 5 seconds actually helped speed up runic power generation as well. Milage will vary of course for everyone, and of course killing things just adds even more.

On that note, Improved Blood Tap? What in the world for? Most rotations you will be using Death Strike, which in blood will be converting 1 Frost and 1 Unholy into a death rune anyways. So almost all the time you should have 4 death runes up. Improved Blood Tap becomes questionable there. Only reason I would see grabbing that would be for the tanking tier 10 special set bonus.

You also don't have Abominations Might. Yea, 10% attack power to party but a 2% increase to strength for Death Knights, which translates into increased parrying for the death knight, and every little bit counts it seems.

So far in my builds I've found that I can have DRW up regularly, it seems weird to me that you are struggling. And anything that helps me increase threat, which the glyph for DRW provides, and neglecting said glyph seems even weirder to me.

Personally, I consider the heart strike glyph more important that runic strike as well, as a 10% increase crit chance doesn't translate to better damage as some days you get lucky others you keep wishing it would go off. Ontop of that the Vampiric glyph I outright ignore because it's the 15% health increase that makes it attractive. Abandoning that for 15% extra healing seems bizarre especially since that would require the healing to be keeping up.
And also, if you are taking improved Blood Tap, I am curious why you don't have the glyph for Blood Tap? Removing the damage Blood Tap causes to you would seem more beneficial, IMO, than Raise Ally.

So far my experience hasn't matched your own, and I can't say what you are doing or if the OPs opinions are based purely on theorycraft.

And as far as Blood Caked Strikes; again a talent where milage may vary, but damage is damage, and if you're complaining about threat then you might need to re-evaluate your perfect build.

Another thing that puzzles me, of course, is your statement about how ineffective our diseases are, but you get epidemic, which is no longer that useful for tanking since Death Strike isn't even reliant on that anymore. You contradict yourself so much in your guide it's kind of painful.
Virulence I covered in a previous post on page 4, but: It's mainly because Blood Boil consumes a Rune and doesn't apply Scarlet Fever when it misses. Yes, it's just as asinine as you think it is.

3/3 Scent of Blood for 2H results in wasted stacks fairly regularly. Because your swing speed is so slow. If you have any stacks of it up at all and it procs, they get wasted. 2/3 minimizes this while still assisting with RP generation. Yes, it's just as asinine as you think it is.

Improved Blood Tap is mandatory and this is unarguable. If RE procs a single F/U Rune you can Blood Tap and instantly get a Death Strike. If you want to use Bone Shield without losing a Death Strike, Blood Tap. It's a free Death Rune. Why wouldn't you want it twice as often?

2% Strength is laughable, as is the Parry gain it results in. Abom's Might is a talent without personal benefit if any of the other DPS in your Raid already bring the buff. They are all going to have it anyway.

You can get DRW up regularly because you're playing at 80 with no on-demand Rune Strike. When you can Rune Strike any time you have the RP for it, instead of waiting for avoidance to proc it, saving 60 RP for DRW becomes pretty dumb.

Heart Strike's contribution to our damage is minimal, but you'll notice that I still recommend the Glyph so I'm not sure what you think you're saying here. If you don't Glyph Rune Strike, you're doing it wrong. It's been a mandatory Glyph for tanks since it existed. The VB Glyph is great because of the extra healing it gives to Death Strike. The 15% health increase is a marginal bonus that you are not likely to see a benefit from, especially in Cataclysm.

I don't take the Blood Tap Glyph and never have because the health it removes is utterly meaningless. 6% of base health is not something anyone will notice. Raise Ally at least provides some utility.

There is no variance in mileage with BCB. There is nothing you can do to make up for how drastically under budget it is. Talents are generally supposed to provide a minimum of 1% more damage per point. BCB gives you less than half a percent. The damage you gain will never be enough to help you if you are struggling with threat.

I agree, Epidemic doesn't make sense given that I advocate Diseaseless. There's nowhere better to put those points. Maybe Crimson Scourge. At 85 you're going to be getting it anyway to maximize uptime from Outbreak and to unlock Morbidity.

Feel free to peruse my armory if you question my experience. I've tanked just shy of every fight in every dungeon to success and I've been doing it since Wrath release. I've been tanking in the Beta regularly. In addition, if you want to question my experience, I'd recommend doing it with a character that has some. Your opinion doesn't carry much weight posting on your Paladin.
Then you can place the talents elsewhere obviously. If you don't think anything else is worth it you need to reprioritize.

And? Your priorities are out of whack as I can tell.

Why would I need it twice as often? Your making an argument and basically trying to state your build is the only build that works. If you aren't hopelessly slamming buttons and you actualyl have a decent rotation, which your's definitely doesn't work for me, you've always got death runes up.

So is Improve Rune Tap. Personally you are out to help your team as much as you are as the tank. If you don't want to believe that then why are you tanking?

This is just a silly and ridiculous excuse. Yes, it's an excuse. You are complaining about threat earlier, and the one thing that brings you much needed threat (actually multiple things) you ignore and say they aren't worth it, yet it's obvious they are.

Critical chance is still a minimal increase to your DPS and less so unless you're stacking the heck out of crit gear, in which case you shouldn't be tanking anyways. And 15% increase in cataclysm when you are pumping up to 80k to 100k health, if you are going to say an extra 15k health will not be noticeable, then you really are just theorycrafting.

Raise Ally only provides utility if someone dies. So, no, that argument already lost it's value. If your team is doing well, as it should be working as a team, deaths should be marginal and in my experience, raise ally has rarely ever turned the tide of a battle if someoen drops, raising them with 25% more health and 15% more run speed isn't going to improve things any.

And again, back to the crux of the problem with your build and suggestions. You pretty much ignore everything that involves building your threat and instead focus more on DPS aspects. Kind of like some paladin tank builds I've seen lately, piss poor basis on DPS and ignoring threat and tanking aspects.

There's always someplace better. Again you've been bluntly ignoring a lot of them.

Yes, and so far, your experience you contradict yourself regularly. Your post ammounts to use this build only, if you try anything else your stupid mentality is exactly what's already wrong. You spent half your post contradicting yourself at every turn the other half whining about threat problems and the rest telling people using things that obviously help your threat and survivability is stupid and they shouldn't do it.
Thanxs :D
This is a pretty good start on the Guide Thread, I have to agree with Grukthar though, Dance Rune Weapon is amazing because of how much additional threat it provides when you activate it. (Given the Glyph)

:] But I'm glad someone posted something so soon!

What happens once you midway through the fight and you are quite a ways ahead of the #1 dps? 50% addition threat is pointless when the dps are no where near pulling off you.

And as to the comments about DW tanking no longer being viable. Was DW tanking ever truly viable?

I do have to say that it is a tough call when it comes to reforging avoidance into exp or hit. At least the way things are on live. I have not seen what avoidance numbers are on the beta, but if DK avoidance is incredibly low compared to what it is on Live, then I can see that.

With the changes to the rune system, I have to say I am leveling my druid first. DK isn't as much fun to play as it used to be.
Louneigru, please remove yourself from my thread.

I was willing to discuss your opinions with you until I read your second post, where you made it clear you are less interested in having a discussion and more interested in trying to make a name for yourself by attacking me. You make a number of statements that are categorically false and provide no evidence to support the grounds on which we disagree.

Your post reads like a troll and is likely not much more than that. This thread is for people to be informed about how to play as a tank. If you want to have a discussion about why you and I disagree, spend some time modifying your attitude and approach and I will do that happily. I can provide the evidence that I use to support my choices all day long, but I won't waste the time doing it with someone who obviously has no interest in understanding those choices.
And as to the comments about DW tanking no longer being viable. Was DW tanking ever truly viable?
Yes it was. I did it all throughout ToC. Next Swing Rune Strike with a 2.6 weapon and Threat of Thassarian was hilarious.
Many thanks for the guide. I haven't tanked in some time and these new talents/runes have me slightly confuddled. Your guide will help me readjust. =)
Many thanks for the guide. I haven't tanked in some time and these new talents/runes have me slightly confuddled. Your guide will help me readjust. =)
You're welcome! I am glad to be able to help. :)
So forgive me for being an idiot, but I'm doing my best to try to get a better understanding for how the other classes and specs in the game work, since I've found myself appointed raid leader for a small, casual guild. I've got a pretty good sense of the basics of DK tanking, I think, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the "2H only" thing correct in my head. Is it correct to say that Threat of Thassarian was what made it viable pre-patch, because you were getting free swings from your OH weapon every time you used Death Strike? (And am I also right in thinking this meant you would have wanted a fast MH and a slow OH as a DW tank?)

And now that that talent is no longer accessible to a blood tank, you need a big 2H weapon so your attacks just hit harder in the first place, thus generating more threat?
So forgive me for being an idiot, but I'm doing my best to try to get a better understanding for how the other classes and specs in the game work, since I've found myself appointed raid leader for a small, casual guild. I've got a pretty good sense of the basics of DK tanking, I think, but I just want to make sure I'm getting the "2H only" thing correct in my head. Is it correct to say that Threat of Thassarian was what made it viable pre-patch, because you were getting free swings from your OH weapon every time you used Death Strike? (And am I also right in thinking this meant you would have wanted a fast MH and a slow OH as a DW tank?)

And now that that talent is no longer accessible to a blood tank, you need a big 2H weapon so your attacks just hit harder in the first place, thus generating more threat?
Threat of Thassarian was the big one, yes. DW at that time wanted Slow/Slow for higher special attack damage, though.

If you were going to DW now, it would be trying to take advantage of two things:
- Faster Scent of Blood consumption
- Needing 3% less hit because of Nerves of Cold Steel

Because of the first one, you would want Slow/Fast, because the off-hand damage isn't at all relevant and it's just there to chew up Scent of Blood. Unfortunately, right now it's not really possible to take advantage of Reforging away Hit thanks to Nerves and will not be until Cata when the gear starts having Mastery on it and you aren't reforging everything into it.

So what you end up with at 80 is a tank with 3% more Hit than it needs whose specials are doing significantly less damage without enough compensation elsewhere.
Nub blood DK here.

Could someone learned in the ways of tanking tell me how I'm supposed to tank a caster mob? I sit on this gigantic pile of RP that I can't use because the freaking thing doesn't melee me for avoidance procs.


You use some of the RP to use Mind Freeze and interrupt it and it should melee for a few seconds, then Strangulate it on the next cast, then Mind Freeze
I noticed one of my friends doing this on their DK Tank as well.

This is the sole reason you should never remove Death Coil from your bar. There will always be scenarios where you can't move (or, while gimpy RS is still in-game, when you can't Rune Strike).

You should never be RP capped.
Ok, thanks for the clarification!
Maybe someone can answer this for me. If 8% is the Hit cap, why are my numbers still above 0?
Nub blood DK here.

Could someone learned in the ways of tanking tell me how I'm supposed to tank a caster mob? I sit on this gigantic pile of RP that I can't use because the freaking thing doesn't melee me for avoidance procs.


Rensa, You can still Death Coil. remember that can still proc Runic Empowerment like RS does. If you're referring to the lack of threat generation because of no Rune Strike, go for your Dancing Rune Weapon.
while i agree with most of it, not everything is plain math when tanking.

> Like others said, drw glyph is very handy because its a 50% threat increase on everything you do. While you do give up 2 rune strikes to use it, you can only generate high threat on 2 targets with them. Drw + BB or DnD can be the difference of having control over new adds that joined the fight, or having them running around ...

So yes, while by simple math 2 RS might be > than drw .. in several situations (specially when %@@@ hits the fan) it pays to have +50% threat on everything. So this glyph i think it falls under the category of personal preference, and not simply "bad" / "dont use" glyphs.



> About specs. I think its again a similar situation where early in wotlk people said dw tank = wrong. I always tanked as dw (a modified version of shadowfrost, until they destroyed it at ulduar). For tanks, while some fights you should have the best mitigation/survivability available, threat is always related to what your raid is pulling off. As long as you are not holding of your dpsers, you can /dance if you want.

And from my experience is not a huge difference. With the right spec its 1-3k threat difference at most .. And in most cases this hardly matter. With tanking weapons at 2.6 speed i think it will be a viable choice (more rp via scent of blood, and less downtime), if the player prefer the dw playstyle.



> Another detail about spec is Morbidity. While its a good talent, its far from a must have. DnD threat without 30% dmg increase is usually enough to hold mobs (unless the tank is doing something terribly wrong), and lets face it, its not relevant on most boss fights, unless theres a heavy aoe tank/dps involved.

While theres "theorical" best builds, i think theres much more room to swap talents around than people might be realizing.

Im currently using this:
http://wowtal.com/#k=Ymqasmz9x.a7t.deathknight.-R28tF - Pick Epidemic or Virulence, doesnt matter much. For heroics i prefer to simply get unholy command because it's handy to have shorter DGs

And its working like a charm. For Raid bosses i swap Prime: DS instead of DnD, and Major: VB instead of BB.

I understand that those suggestions might be the best theorical choice, but there are several other options that work just as well. Not every DK will tank in top50 world raids. For 90% of the dk tanks out there, the difference in performance between the "best" build and the other couple options is irrelevant. Most people dont play in the unforgiving raid enviroment that every drop counts.

So yeh, i agree with most of it (specially the technical part, gemming, stat allocation, skill priorities etc). But have a different opinion on those parts. I think its better to tell people the difference between spec A and B than simply saying "A is right, B is wrong" ..

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