DK Tanking Guide (5.1)

90 Draenei Death Knight
15615
08/01/2012 03:10 PMPosted by Reniat
If AMZ is buffed to soak up a goodly chunk of damage, I think it will be worth it for a lot of pulls/bosses.

Meh. I don't recall there ever being enough raid wide burst magic dmg in 5 mans to justify it. I'd still take Lichborne.


I wager AMZ will be one of those talents where having a 2nd spec or just respec'n for a specific heroic could be worth while.
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 02:16 PMPosted by Euliat
and am still messing around with where to place the new Blood Boil in the priority

I haven't quite figured out the optimum place either, which is why that info is mysteriously missing from my guide. I have found that using BB every 3rd rune dump (HS>HS>BB>HS>HS>BB) seems to work, but that doesn't mean it will end up being the way to go, and doesn't factor in Soul Reaper after 35% boss health.

08/01/2012 02:16 PMPosted by Euliat
I also might be quitting WoW in a month or two, so writing a sticky and then (potentially) immediately quitting is a jerk move in my opinion.

You mentioning that is what made me start thinking about making this one. Regardless of what you do with wow in the next year, the DK community owes you a ton and I hope you realize how much you are appreciated here.
Edited by Reniat on 8/1/2012 3:30 PM PDT
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 03:17 PMPosted by Tor
I wager AMZ will be one of those talents where having a 2nd spec or just respec'n for a specific heroic could be worth while.

It has a lot of situational value, but as a talent in general (not counting any specific encounters) it just isn't that useful compared to the other 2, which is why its not in the default 5 man spec.
90 Draenei Death Knight
15615
08/01/2012 03:23 PMPosted by Reniat
I wager AMZ will be one of those talents where having a 2nd spec or just respec'n for a specific heroic could be worth while.

It has a lot of situational value, but as a talent in general (not counting any specific encounters) it just isn't that useful compared to the other 2, which is why its not in the default 5 man spec.


Aye, I'd only see it usable on a raid boss with a specific heavy spell wide ability. Also more a 10 man thing where you have less versions of raid wide resist/reductions. Not required just a side benefit.
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 03:29 PMPosted by Tor
Aye, I'd only see it usable on a raid boss with a specific heavy spell wide ability. Also more a 10 man thing where you have less versions of raid wide resist/reductions. Not required just a side benefit.

this.

Also keep in mind dps dks will always take this before the tank will, since they don't have any major choices this tier and we do. A 25m team is much more likely to have at least 1 dps dk
90 Draenei Death Knight
15615
I just find that tier interesting cause it's argued that really when it comes down to it all 3 are dependent on fight mechanics. For example the only drawback with Lichborne is it kind of promotes stacking RP to heal yourself which even adds a situation you have to plan for more. So really it's a flavor though I'd agree that Lichborne is the least dependent on the fights themselves and is more about weaving it and storing the RP for when you know you'll be taking more damage or a fear which is rare. Really in regards to dps it only sucks that the majority of talents lean more on defensive than offensive.
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
Not a fan of this guide. Please give actual numbers instead of just talking about how great Euliat is. (However great he may be)

And BTW, the synergy of Purgatory and Death Pact is hard to beat. Lichborne has never worked for me, and AMZ is good, but somewhat situational.

In your 5 man spec, you suggest RE, which is fine, but for simple 5 man dungeons, RC is much easier to use, since mitigation isn't the biggest concern. You also claim that UB is good for five mans, which is also ridiculous. For 5 mans, rolling blood is the best, due to its easy disease spreading.

Your single target raid suggests Desecrated Ground, but I can't think of an example where this would help. (MOP example please, Kaelthas doesn't count)

Finally, what is an AOE raid spec? Kiting? Adds? The idea seems ridiculous

If you want a post stickied, I would suggest putting more work into it
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
If you want a post stickied, I would suggest putting more work into it

It's a work in progress, but i do appreciate your input.

08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
Please give actual numbers instead of just talking about how great Euliat is.

I don't want this guide to be a numbers post. In my mind the stickied guide should be fairly easy to access for newer dk tanks, and numbers aren't necessary and only add more things they have to try and decipher as they learn the class. (I realize the ridiculousness of having an "easy to grasp" ideology and still ending up with 9 posts of info)

The info here is correct as far as the research i've done is concerned. The idea behind a guide is that you can assume the info is right, not to prove something is the way it is with theory. That would be the role of a dedicated theory thread that you might find on EJ or mmo-champion's forums, both of which i've looked into thoroughly on top of my own math and theorycrafting and applied to this guide. I am 100% open to the possibility of being wrong in a few places, which is why I have posted this early so that we can, as a community, fix anything that needs fixing.

Basically in my opinion the hardcore numbers should stay in the pure theorycrafting threads and the guides for all players should be easier to understand and follow.

And lets be honest, everyone expected Euliat to make the guide, including me, so it's not like I'm referring to someone who isn't relevant in any way.
08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
And BTW, the synergy of Purgatory and Death Pact is hard to beat. Lichborne has never worked for me, and AMZ is good, but somewhat situational.

Purgatory loses value when you take away the threat of spike damage, so when tanking a large amount of softer hitting adds lichborne is the better choice since you shouldn't be getting spiked enough to trigger Purgatory in that situation.

08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
In your 5 man spec, you suggest RE, which is fine, but for simple 5 man dungeons, RC is much easier to use, since mitigation isn't the biggest concern.

You are right, but it will come down to personal preference. In my opinion it is best to lean towards the mitigation side of life since our primary concern is staying alive. Also keep in mind that the default specs I give are very loose, simply due to the nature of MoPs talents. There a lot of viable options in a couple tiers, and the optimum spec will depend heavily on the situation. This is why i spent the time i did going through every single talent in detail and giving examples of when they would be useful in practice and how you can incorporate it into a certain situation. You're example of RC for 5 man due to the increased aoe threat is covered in my analysis of RC, though I will mention it's ease of use since that is a valid argument for RC in 5 man content.

08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
Your single target raid suggests Desecrated Ground, but I can't think of an example where this would help.

I can't either. But what would you prefer? An aoe slow/stun that won't work on raid bosses or the ability to AoE death grip, which also doesn't work on bosses? (btw Gorefiend's doesn't taunt, just repositions targets, so it's not even as useful as DG for that) It's literally the worst tier we have. I may swap it to gorefiend's grasp simply because you'll find that more useful in more fights, though it still has almost no value outside of specific encounters and gives literally no benefit for single target boss tanking.

08/01/2012 03:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
Finally, what is an AOE raid spec? Kiting? Adds? The idea seems ridiculous
Add tanking. something like Maloriak adds.

Thanks for the input! It's feedback like this that will help fine tune the guide so it's perfect by release. Though, the passive comment on the amount of work i put into it was a bit uncalled for.
Edited by Reniat on 8/1/2012 4:07 PM PDT
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
I double posted
Edited by Hefizar on 8/1/2012 4:47 PM PDT
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
^shocked^

While i don't agree with everything you posted, I respec the fact that your response wasn't "RAGERAGRAGEHOWDAREYOUCORRECTME"

P.S. I would prefer Gorefiend's grasp simply because it could easily grab adds while tanking the boss. And Dancing Rune Weapon is currently worthless. Dk tabks got screwed on major glyphs
90 Blood Elf Death Knight
10755
I personally think of Unholy blight useless out of pvp. As blood boil will refresh the duration on your diseases, so I rather refresh + spread + deal damage, although on heavy aoe fight, plague leech seems very appealing as you'll be able to use your diseases and gain a crazy amount of runes.

I'm still very skeptical when it comes to Purgatory, mainly due to the fact that I've yet to actually see this talent in action. If its a high number, I imagine this will be useless outside of 25m raids. Since stuff hits harder (so there's a higher chance of this being used), not to mention you'll have more healers so they can probably burn out the absorption shield and heal you up to a nice amount before the next melee ability. AMZ, like everyone else and their mother has said, it will probably only be taken if the fight involves heavy magic damage going on constantly, then you'll be able to rotate between AMS and AMZ. Lichborne seems very strong, I've been on the beta, and tested how much i get healed for with LB. Without being in a party, I was getting 43-45k heals. Currently on live, in a full raid group I get about 38-40k.

Tier 3 & 4, I completely agree.
Althought I thought for Conversion it only used up the Runic Power when you originally cast the skill. Meaning, lets say you used it at 40rp, so you get 4 ticks out of it, but you can still gain rp, lets say you got 30rp during that Conversion phase, you still only get 4 ticks. Correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't tested all talents in the beta yet.

I'm personally going to go with RC, just because of all of the downtime Blood has in MoP.

I have no clue what glyph of AMS does, if you could tell me, that'd be appreciated. I've read the glyph, I just don't understand it.

As for what Hefizar said, Purgatory and Death Pact is hard to beat, but saccing a ghoul is a bit RP heavy, so there will be cases when Purgatory will proc, but you won't have enough RP to use Death Pact.
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
I would argue that mastery is superior to stamina, but I do like the part about RE gaming. Lots of DK tanks never learn the tricks to it, and they don't do as well as they could. I am glad DKs get AMZ, as we sucked against magic damage, and I think that Death's advance is a well needed addition.

The reason I argue for Rolling Boil is because BB now refreshes diseases on targets, and therefor, increases mitigation. This is especially good in 5 mans because of the multiple mobs you tank, but in raids, it is lack luster, as is Plague Leech for that matter.
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
One question: Does DRW duplicate the execute damage from Soul Reaper? Or is it just the original weapon strike?
85 Troll Death Knight
6090
Very nice, thanks
90 Worgen Death Knight
12005
08/01/2012 02:16 PMPosted by Euliat
I also might be quitting WoW in a month or two, so writing a sticky and then (potentially) immediately quitting is a jerk move in my opinion. Won't know more about that until another month, though.
No you can't leave! :(

Also, great guide Reniat! Thanks for putting it together! Sticky requested and liked.
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 04:32 PMPosted by Hajï
I personally think of Unholy blight useless out of pvp. As blood boil will refresh the duration on your diseases, so I rather refresh + spread + deal damage, although on heavy aoe fight, plague leech seems very appealing as you'll be able to use your diseases and gain a crazy amount of runes.

There is a 25sec cd on Plague Leech, so you can't just get crunk on death runes in an aoe fight. Unholy blight isn't very attractive, so your not missing its usefulness, but i think you are over valuing its competition.

Rolling Blood (Hefizar pay attention, as this is also an answer to you)
This looks attractive for 5m content at first glance, but look at what you actually gain and it starts to fall apart. You pull adds, you use outbreak>blood boil to spread diseases. You now have all targets infected with the tank debuff and you only used 1 blood rune. From here on out the benefit of Rolling Blood is 0, since as long as you use BB to refresh the diseases on all targets you wouldn't have needed to pest after the initial one anyway. Total benefit from that talent = 1 blood rune over the whole fight.

Compare this to Unholy Blight, which affects all adds with the debuff free, so you didn't have to pestilence or blood boil to spread diseases. The scenario with Rolling Blood also got in dmg from a BB, but with unholy blight you can use a heart strike with that B rune instead, which will give you more aoe threat/dmg if there are not too many adds. If there are a lot of adds then you would BB anyway making them equal. This puts UB > RB (but not by much. A lot of these talents just happen to be the lesser of 3 evils)

The other option is Plague Leech, which is the talent i have as optimal in the default single target raid spec. The reason it is not optimal here, is that in order to gain a D rune for free, you need to be able to re apply those diseases with Outbreak. If you have to use a pestilence then you only trade a D rune for a B rune every 25 seconds, and if you have to re apply with icy touch and plague strike you are getting 1 death rune for a frost and unholy runes. That's just bad.

Since outbreak is on a 1 minute cd, you will only benefit from this talent, even in an aoe scenario, once every minute. 1 D rune per minute is not exactly fantastic, and the only reason it's optimal in the non-aoe spec is because both the other talents are aoe only.

This puts Unholy Blight above Rolling Blood and Plague Leech for aoe situations, which is why I have it as the default talent for 5 mans.

08/01/2012 04:32 PMPosted by Hajï
I'm still very skeptical when it comes to Purgatory, mainly due to the fact that I've yet to actually see this talent in action. If its a high number, I imagine this will be useless outside of 25m raids. Since stuff hits harder (so there's a higher chance of this being used), not to mention you'll have more healers so they can probably burn out the absorption shield and heal you up to a nice amount before the next melee ability.

It all depends on how they tune stuff in relation to how they tune DK tanks. I'm going to assume 10H will hit hard enough to make spike damage a threat, at least early on, so I decided against making a 25m spec and a 10m spec and having purg on both. Though you are right, purgatory does favor 25m. We will just have to wait and see how things are tuned for release. because right now they are all over the place which makes it hard to assess the spike dmg threat on tanks for 10 and 25.

08/01/2012 04:32 PMPosted by Hajï
Althought I thought for Conversion it only used up the Runic Power when you originally cast the skill. Meaning, lets say you used it at 40rp, so you get 4 ticks out of it, but you can still gain rp, lets say you got 30rp during that Conversion phase, you still only get 4 ticks. Correct me if I'm wrong. I haven't tested all talents in the beta yet.

You're wrong :)
I tested this one a lot and actually really like it. It's still not valuable enough to justify using it over Death Pact in most scenarios, but I really do like the combo of VB and conversion. Heres how it works:

Provided you have enough RP for at least 1 tick, you push conversion and you start sucking RP. You continue to convert RP into health until you either toggle it off (which is off GCD btw) or run out of RP. There is no CD for this, so you are only limited by your RP. You wouldn't want to have this on a lot, as you are taking RP away from Rune Strike and thus RE procs, but as a cooldown it may still be valuable in some fights.
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/01/2012 04:32 PMPosted by Hajï
I have no clue what glyph of AMS does, if you could tell me, that'd be appreciated. I've read the glyph, I just don't understand it.


Right now your AMS absorbs 75% of the dmg up to the cap of 50% of your hp. Let's say you had 100k hp, and took 2 magic hits for 60k each. The first would hit you for 25% of 60k (15k) and the shield would absorb 45k. Since half your health is 50k, you only have 5k shield left. The second one would hit you for 55k since you hit your cap and the shield only absorbed 5k.

With the new glyph and the same scenario:
since it absorbs 100% now up from 75% without the glyph first hit would cap at 50k to match half your health (ams cap), and you would take 10k damage. The next attack would be unmitigated and you would take 60k damage. Overall there is no change.

I'm really glad you had me take a second look at this glyph, because there is no reason you would want the second scenario over the first. There is no difference in damage, but it only takes 1 dmg absorbed to prevent stacks on any dot/mechanic AMS can nullify. I had AMS as a glyph because I figure it was better than literally nothing, but after looking at them again I literally don't want anything unless I need the threat from DRW or need to the CD change from IBF, both have negative side affects. This means the optimal DK tanking glyphs are the health buff from VB, the range increase from DG, AND AN EMPTY GLYPH SLOT. That's absolutely ridiculous and needs to change.

08/01/2012 04:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
as we sucked against magic damage

please tell me you're being sarcastic.

08/01/2012 04:38 PMPosted by Hefizar
The reason I argue for Rolling Boil is because BB now refreshes diseases on targets, and therefor, increases mitigation. This is especially good in 5 mans because of the multiple mobs you tank, but in raids, it is lack luster, as is Plague Leech for that matter.

See my analysis of that tier in response to Haji. No sense it typing twice :)

08/01/2012 04:41 PMPosted by Hefizar
One question: Does DRW duplicate the execute damage from Soul Reaper? Or is it just the original weapon strike?

I would assume yes, as DRW currently applies diseases so it would make sense it would do the same in this case. I'll see if i can get around to testing it soon to be sure.
Edited by Reniat on 8/1/2012 8:05 PM PDT
90 Tauren Death Knight
7470
DK's have a solid 7 seconds of pure magic resistance every 45 seconds. Other than that, they have nothing but physical damage mitigation. We have lots of interupts, but most bosses can't be interupted, so no, no sarcasm. We needed another magic resistance CD, and AMZ is pretty good.
90 Blood Elf Death Knight
10755
08/01/2012 07:54 PMPosted by Reniat
There is a 25sec cd on Plague Leech, so you can't just get crunk on death runes in an aoe fight. Unholy blight isn't very attractive, so your not missing its usefulness, but i think you are over valuing its competition.


Yea I think I forgot that little tidbit about it being on a 25sec cd.
Plague leech will be for single target.
Roiling blood will be for fights where multiple adds are spawned, like on Yorsahj.
Unholy blight will be for aoe fights where there's significantly less adds where a blood boil would do way more damage than a heart strike.

You're wrong :)
I tested this one a lot and actually really like it. It's still not valuable enough to justify using it over Death Pact in most scenarios, but I really do like the combo of VB and conversion. Heres how it works:

Provided you have enough RP for at least 1 tick, you push conversion and you start sucking RP. You continue to convert RP into health until you either toggle it off (which is off GCD btw) or run out of RP. There is no CD for this, so you are only limited by your RP. You wouldn't want to have this on a lot, as you are taking RP away from Rune Strike and thus RE procs, but as a cooldown it may still be valuable in some fights.


I still have mixed feelings about it. Although I'll have to wait till I actually get to level 90 and see the fights before. Since i'm thinking of conversion as being a lower Death Pact, will lower CD (although I know it has no CD). Without a doubt conversion will be better in other fights compared to Death Pact. Like in fights where you'll take heavy burst damage every 20 seconds or so. Kinda like on Hagarra, I would love to have conversion for that. As I'd be able to Death Strike and get health back, opposed as to having to use a gcd to summon your ghoul, and another to sac it.

I'm really glad you had me take a second look at this glyph, because there is no reason you would want the second scenario over the first. There is no difference in damage, but it only takes 1 dmg absorbed to prevent stacks on any dot/mechanic AMS can nullify. I had AMS as a glyph because I figure it was better than literally nothing, but after looking at them again I literally don't want anything unless I need the threat from DRW or need to the CD change from IBF, both have negative side affects. This means the optimal DK tanking glyphs are the health buff from VB, the range increase from DG, AND AN EMPTY GLYPH SLOT. That's absolutely ridiculous and needs to change.


Yea, that's why I was confused about that glyph.
90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
08/02/2012 12:46 AMPosted by Hefizar
DK's have a solid 7 seconds of pure magic resistance every 45 seconds. Other than that, they have nothing but physical damage mitigation. We have lots of interupts, but most bosses can't be interupted, so no, no sarcasm. We needed another magic resistance CD, and AMZ is pretty good.

DKs are undeniably the best tanks at handling magic right now, and have been for a while. 7 seconds is all it takes to completely neutralize most magic dmg mechanics. Allow me to go through some fights you can use AMS on in this tier that give us an advantage over other tanks on these mechanics and tell me if you still think we are weak at magic damage vs other tanks.

Yorsa'hj
Used with Mirror of Broken Images to make void bolt a joke. There is a reason DKs are the best for this fight, and it's not our good looks. Try asking a warrior or paladin to solo tank this on 25H pre-nerf and see how they like it.

Zonozz
Physchic drain hits for 120k, and with AMS we absorb 90k of that. We can completely neutralize that mechanic without using any other cooldowns. And since it's only got a 45 second cooldown, we can go through the whole fight using just AMS and Mirror of Broken Images and we don't have to use any of our other cooldowns.

Ultraxion
Same deal here, using AMS to absorb the hour of twilight makes it so we don't have to use another cooldown here.

Warmaster Blackhorn
With AMS we can take a purple swirl while taking adds, which is something other tanks can't do as easily since they can't completely neutralize the magic dmg from the swirl.

Spine
just popping it any time you have to roll will help your healers a lot, especially if you are towards the end when you may have an amalg with high stacks beating on you for 1-2 seconds (blood cleanse strat for heroic spine)

Madness
This fight is AMS prime time.
AMS helps with the DoT from regenerating bloods.
AMS helps with dmg from the elementium bolt, which hits you very close to the 2nd impale on the third platform so being able to take this magic dmg with ease helps prevent your death.
Finally, AMS makes Tetanus from the Terror adds in ph2 child's play, turning one of the hardest hitting mechanics this tier into nothing.

Change your mind yet?
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