Leveling thru LFG, tanking, issues, help!

85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10335
My DK (leveling her currently level 82) and I am having some issues in Cata dungeons. My gear is definitely not up to par but I feel like I am effectively using my CDs (Lichborne > DC during time of heavy damage, bone shield on CD, AMS during heavy magic dmg, sacing my pet with Death Pact) but I take so much damage. I am a-ok in Wrath dungeons but I outgear those. I am trying to just level in dungeons and have crafted as much blacksmithing gear that I can. Now, I am aware that my gear is lackluster (I have a terrible weapon and rings, especially). But are those really holding me back or is there some tips and tricks I can use to help mitigate damage.

TLDR;

I got kicked for the first time in Vortex Pinnacle and I forewarned the group that I did not feel comfortable tanking it and if something went wrong, that I would definitely leave quietly. The elementals kicked my a##, but in no way did I wipe the group, but the healer had to work hard and they kicked me. :( I have never been kicked before and I want to improve. So, any tips?

My typical starting rotation > d&d on a pack, blood boil, spread diseases and then heart strike, etc.
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90 Tauren Death Knight
8920
How are you utilizing death strike? Are you popping CDs at the start of trash pulls (when you will take most damage from more mobs)? It's hard to say where you need to improve without a bit more info or some logs to go over.
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90 Worgen Death Knight
8995
My typical starting rotation > d&d on a pack, blood boil, spread diseases and then heart strike, etc.


ONLY do Blood Boil when Crimson Scourge procs or if you specced Rolling Blood. Which you didn't.

This should be your rotation.

D&D > Spread Diseases > Death Strike twice to proc Mastery and then EVERY SINGLE TIME you can re-use it > Heart Strike when unable to Death Strike > Rune Strike when all runes are on CD. Use Blood Boil when Crimson Scourge procs to refresh diseases. Repeat.

Also, spec Purgatory instead of Lichborne. It prevents random wipes. I would also recommend Conversion over Death Pact, as it gives you a steady viable heal you can dump RP into often instead of a CD when your healer needs a break. Popping Vampiric Blood at the same time as Conversion is also very nice. It makes you much less squishy if you manage it correctly.

Aside from that it's gear really. I don't raid tank but this should DEFINITELY be more than adequate for dungeon and leveling tanking. Good luck!
Edited by Selsix on 10/6/2012 11:23 PM PDT
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
12135
My typical starting rotation > d&d on a pack, blood boil, spread diseases and then heart strike, etc.


ONLY do Blood Boil when Crimson Scourge procs or if you specced Rolling Blood. Which you didn't.

This should be your rotation.

D&D > Spread Diseases > Death Strike twice to proc Mastery and then EVERY SINGLE TIME you can re-use it > Heart Strike when unable to Death Strike > Rune Strike when all runes are on CD. Use Blood Boil when Crimson Scourge procs to refresh diseases. Repeat.

Also, spec Purgatory instead of Lichborne. It prevents random wipes. I would also recommend Conversion over Death Pact, as it gives you a steady viable heal you can dump RP into often instead of a CD when your healer needs a break. Popping Vampiric Blood at the same time as Conversion is also very nice. It makes you much less squishy if you manage it correctly.

Aside from that it's gear really. I don't raid tank but this should DEFINITELY be more than adequate for dungeon and leveling tanking. Good luck!

not to nitpick but ill throw a few notes here

1. you should only be heart striking if you have 3 or less targets (4 or more you use blood boil) and only once to put a single blood rune on cd. blood boil will also refresh your diseases if it hits them which is what you should use a majority of your crimson scourge procs on. death strike is your priority not heart strike. by putting a single blood rune on cd you can game runic empowerment procs for more death strikes thus smoothing out your damage intake.

2. purgatory isnt that good. lichborne is better especially with how vengeance scales now as a cd you should be using to avoid death so you are not put in a situation where purgatory would be able to save you. conversion is also not a decent choice as the healing it provides at the cost of rp really isnt worth it nor is it sustainable even in combat. it will only contribute to overhealing as its healing isnt large enough for a healer to warrant changing how they heal you because of it.

3. at the op. liberally use your defensive cds to mitigate damage before you are in trouble. time your death strikes for maximum effectiveness but dont wait so long as to let your health dip to low.
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10335
Thanks guys for all of the helpful tips. I also just realized I have not even glyphed. :P I will def. change that. I typically get 5 stacks before I use death strike, should I not be doing that? I do not run logs as I am only doing normal Cata dungeons atm. :P

The reason I blood boil so often is because I have people who immediately start aoe'ing mobs as soon as I start walking to a pack. >> I do it because it instantly gives me threat and I can typically keep it with it, so I tend to overuse it. :P It's so annoying and hectic and people complain if they die and I do not want to let them down. I have successfully tanked on this girl in the past (I leveled her completely through dungeons) but things have changed, of course. I do not want other people to suffer in horrible dungeon runs bc I am not doing things correctly. I do not plan on raiding on this toon, I want to level her for mining. I tried to find the best spec/glyphs for just leveling in dungeons but most relate to 85+ and I am just working on these last 2 levels, but thats quite a bit of dungeons and I want to be sufficient.

There's a lot of conflicting advice in this thread but I do think I am going to spec into Rolling Blood to help with AOE threat. Any other advice specifically pertaining to dungeon leveling/tanking?

I keep bone shield up, use D&D on pull, blood boil (to gain that initial threat that I have to have in order for me to keep the mobs off of everyone who insists on whirlwinding (w/e that new monk spell is), rain of fire, etc, plague, frost, and if it is up yet i pestilence, probably blood boil again, if I am dipping I pop lichborne > DC, i use heart strike and rune strike (rune strike when I cannot use heart strike and death strike is down). I pop a pet and sac him if I am really low. A lot of it is situational though and I do not always use the same rotation, I do spam heart strike though. I use Death Strike when I have 4+ stacks (before then if I need some HP).

So what is the verdict on my spec? I am highly considering Rolling Blood, but there seems to be conflicts on the Purgatory vs Lichborne. Any other tips in regards to spec? Should I be using Outbreak? I noticed it has a 1 min CD, so I didn't know when would be the best time to use it.

Again, I appreciate the advice. Thank you. :)
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90 Worgen Death Knight
8995
Thanks guys for all of the helpful tips. I also just realized I have not even glyphed. :P I will def. change that. I typically get 5 stacks before I use death strike, should I not be doing that? I do not run logs as I am only doing normal Cata dungeons atm. :P

The reason I blood boil so often is because I have people who immediately start aoe'ing mobs as soon as I start walking to a pack. >> I do it because it instantly gives me threat and I can typically keep it with it, so I tend to overuse it. :P It's so annoying and hectic and people complain if they die and I do not want to let them down. I have successfully tanked on this girl in the past (I leveled her completely through dungeons) but things have changed, of course. I do not want other people to suffer in horrible dungeon runs bc I am not doing things correctly. I do not plan on raiding on this toon, I want to level her for mining. I tried to find the best spec/glyphs for just leveling in dungeons but most relate to 85+ and I am just working on these last 2 levels, but thats quite a bit of dungeons and I want to be sufficient.

There's a lot of conflicting advice in this thread but I do think I am going to spec into Rolling Blood to help with AOE threat. Any other advice specifically pertaining to dungeon leveling/tanking?

I keep bone shield up, use D&D on pull, blood boil (to gain that initial threat that I have to have in order for me to keep the mobs off of everyone who insists on whirlwinding (w/e that new monk spell is), rain of fire, etc, plague, frost, and if it is up yet i pestilence, probably blood boil again, if I am dipping I pop lichborne > DC, i use heart strike and rune strike (rune strike when I cannot use heart strike and death strike is down). I pop a pet and sac him if I am really low. A lot of it is situational though and I do not always use the same rotation, I do spam heart strike though. I use Death Strike when I have 4+ stacks (before then if I need some HP).

So what is the verdict on my spec? I am highly considering Rolling Blood, but there seems to be conflicts on the Purgatory vs Lichborne. Any other tips in regards to spec? Should I be using Outbreak? I noticed it has a 1 min CD, so I didn't know when would be the best time to use it.

Again, I appreciate the advice. Thank you. :)


You shouldn't be waiting for Death Strike stacks at all, they are just a nice perk. You should be prioritizing Death Strike over EVERY OTHER SKILL to keep yourself alive. Don't use it when you're about to die, use it when you're missing health and you have the runes, don't blow them on a Heart Strike or Blood Boil if you have aggro. Tank safe, not fast. The DPS should be focusing YOUR target anyway, not a random one in the pack. If they pull aggro from AoE, fine. But if they pull aggro because they attacked something you weren't, then they are retarded.

Like Kusari said, use Blood Boil if there are four or more mobs, Heart Strike if there are three or less.

Personally, I like Unholy Blight from Tier 1, as it gives you another rune free source of disease application, and it's an AoE. Great for conserving runes for Death Strike as Icy Touch + Plague Strike + Pestilence = 3 runes spent, Unholy Blight does all that with no cost.

Yes. Use Outbreak. It's a rune free disease applicator. Use it every pull that it's up instead of Icy Touch and Plague Strike.
Edited by Selsix on 10/7/2012 1:55 AM PDT
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85 Blood Elf Death Knight
10335
Amazing. Just the advice I was looking for. Thanks! I will be checking back frequently.

Again, thank you. :)
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90 Blood Elf Death Knight
5430
Thats how I roll

Death Strike > Rune Strike at capped RP > Blood Tap if it allow me a Death Strike > Heart strike or blood boil (if 4+ target) > free DnD or blood Boil.

Sometimes I don't even have the time to use the free DnD.

Also IMO Purgatory > Lich born in random 5man. You mostly die because your healer/dps failed in random 5man and most of the time you won't see it comming and purg will save you (as it saved me a lot).

I spec for lichborn as a tank when I need the CC break from it. Otherwise Purgatory is bether IMO.
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90 Gnome Death Knight
13155
A few thoughts...

Glyphed Outbreak: yes, it means you can't open with it, but you shouldn't be opening with it anyway - first priority is threat. A DnD + DS will net 30 RP, 1 melee hit (which is highly likely) will be the other 10 RP (from Scent of Blood) allowing you to easily spread diseases every pull. You'll also only need to do this once - Blood Boil refreshes diseases. I'm liking this glyph more and more.

Roiling Blood: this is by far the best talent in tier 1. Blood Boil is already part of your rotation, making it also spread diseases is just amazing.

Lichborne vs Purgatory: personal preference.
  • Lichborne has amazing healing potential and can easily top you off, but only if you have the RP for it.
  • Purgatory can save you from sudden spikes. But that 3 second grace period only lasts 3 seconds or until you get a positive healthbar again, whichever comes first. Get healed fast or die.

  • Death Pact, Death Siphon, or Conversion:
  • Death Pact is an amazing 50% life-saving heal when you need it. Combines very nicely with Purgatory and/or Vampiric Blood.
  • Death Siphon, not quite as strong a heal as Death Strike. However, the 40 yard range is really nice, and it does decent damage. Only marginally useful in dungeons though.
  • Conversion gives you a trickle of health. This is what a healer is for, and is only slightly more healing than the extra Death Strikes tier 5 would have turned that RP into. This is a PvP talent, for DPS specs.

  • Tier 5: Again, personal preference. The difference is style.
  • Blood Tap, you choose when to get your extra runes for that extra Death Strike.
  • Runic Empowerment, this is what we had in Cata, gogo rune tetris.
  • Runic Corruption, to me, gives by far the smoothest rotation.

  • Heartstrike: sadly, this ability is close to worthless now. Yes, it does do (marginally, at low vengeance levels) more damage single target than Blood Boil, but by the time you get 2 mobs Blood Boil is going to be doing basically the same damage. Add a 3rd mob and goodbye Heartstrike. I took Heartstrike off my bar and completely replaced it with Blood Boil. 98k dps on Sha of Anger says I haven't lost anything.

    AoE Opener:
    DnD -> DS -> BB (if needed for the RP) -> Outbreak -> BB
    If I'm pulling quickly and DnD is not up, I'll have saved enough RP from the previous pull to use Outbreak + BB right off the bat.

    Rotation:
    DS > RS(at high RP levels, to avoid capping) > Crimson Scourge proc (DnD when possible, else BB) > RS > BB
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    90 Blood Elf Death Knight
    5430

    [li]Death Pact is an amazing 50% life-saving heal when you need it.


    Death pact is 50% of your minion HP and your minion is about half of your HP so tis more like a 25% HP heal.

    Still the best option for progression IMO. For normal 5man I use the pet on CD just to add some DPS.

    Random 5man are so easy in MoP even a mage can take a beating and survive for quite some time.
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    90 Tauren Death Knight
    8920
    10/07/2012 03:05 AMPosted by Venur
    Death pact is 50% of your minion HP and your minion is about half of your HP so tis more like a 25% HP heal.
    This is incorrect. Death Pact heals you for 50% of your maximum hp.
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    90 Gnome Death Knight
    13155
    Check again, it is 50% of the Death Knight's max health.

    Death Pact
    Drain vitality from an undead minion, healing the Death Knight for 50% of his maximum health and causing the minion to suffer damage equal to 50% of its maximum health.
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    90 Tauren Death Knight
    8920
    Heartstrike: sadly, this ability is close to worthless now. Yes, it does do (marginally, at low vengeance levels) more damage single target than Blood Boil, but by the time you get 2 mobs Blood Boil is going to be doing basically the same damage. Add a 3rd mob and goodbye Heartstrike. I took Heartstrike off my bar and completely replaced it with Blood Boil. 98k dps on Sha of Anger says I haven't lost anything.


    Heart strike is still more dmg than blood boil for 5 targets and under at low levels of AP, and 4 targets and under at high AP. For a complete list of APs and targets between BBa and HS go here: tinyurl.com/bbvshs

    Rotation:
    DS > RS(at high RP levels, to avoid capping) > Crimson Scourge proc (DnD when possible, else BB) > RS > BB
    with active mitigation there really can't be a "rotation". Yes DS is priority over pretty much anything else, but a rotation like this makes it seem like you want to hit it whenever it's up, which is simply not true.
    Edited by Reniat on 10/7/2012 4:11 AM PDT
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    90 Tauren Death Knight
    8920
    10/07/2012 04:05 AMPosted by Crypta
    Also, start using Swordshattering as opposed to Stoneskin Gargoyle unless you can overpower the content. It's a free 4% avoidance that isn't affected by DR.
    You said it yourself, DKs are squishiest when confronted with spike damage. Why not use a runeforge that does something for spike damage?

    That's the general argument behind SSG>SS, and one that I agree with for most serious progression content. In this case though, I'd have to agree that the OP should consider SS for the raw mitigation it provides, since 5 mans aren't inherently spiky themselves, unlike the heroic content where i would normally recommend SSG. Not saying you're wrong, just pointing out that SSG isn't just for when you overpower the content :)
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