DK Tanking Guide (5.4)

Death Knight
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oops, I'm horde again :)

Will likely have the ANOTHER version stickied in the next few weeks once i'm 100% ill be staying on this server/faction.
Threat gen vs other tanks is kind of rough

i'm having a LOT of trouble keeping agro off of my fellow monk tank or sometimes prot pally partner in raids....Even single target....I basically have to use up all of my runes and forget about saving some for survivability just to keep the off tank from pulling off of me in many situations. In aoe situations, forget about it, I can sort of keep agro on one mob, the one I'm focusing, the monk or pally grabs all the rest, every time.

For aoe, I outbreak diseases onto one mob and then blood boil to spread via roiling blood talent and then assuming its more than 3 mobs I'm blood boiling every chance I get and rune striking when runes are all down in order to hopefully proc runic corruption for more blood boils. If its aoe with 3 or less mobs substitute heart strike for blood boil. D&D sort of seems to suck at snap agro and so I find myself using it only semi-regularly (as a pre-emptive if I can see where mobs are coming from or with a spare unholy rune for a little more dps if agro is well established already).

For single target, diseases up via outbreak if its up, if not of course icy touch and plague strike and then deathstrike and then a mix of rune strikes and heart strikes.

I'm REALLy struggling with threat on both aoe and single target vs a monk tank and pally tank in the raid. Would LOVE any suggestions. Please feel free to comment on my armory (gems, chants, reforging) or the rotations I listed. Thanks in advance for any help anyone can throw my way.

FYI not really having too many survivability issues despite being a little lower geared than I'd like (starting raiding a couple weeks ago this tier)

EDIT: decided to go with dps neck and changed wep chant to fallen crusader, if you armory me later you might see other changes, considering trying to forfeit some of my survivability stats at this point, that's how bad the agro situation is. Normally I run mastery/hit/exp build with stoneskin gargoyle chant
oops, I'm horde again :)

Will likely have the ANOTHER version stickied in the next few weeks once i'm 100% ill be staying on this server/faction

Duality nice. I did some testing with them in the ptr. Really skilled players.
i'm having a LOT of trouble keeping agro.......

I was also having trouble with this for a while especially with AoE but i stopped kicking myself over it and i did some thinking. If used properly, DnD(yes its very important. dont neglect it), diseases, and BB will get you the aggro you need. As a tank we need to always be thinking of whats coming up next. This cant be over looked from a threat perspective. On horridon 10m for example, use IT and PS to get your initial diseases up becuase you will want that outbreak later on in the door. Those will likely die a long with the first big add. Now is where you need to think. You now have 8 seconds until the next two big adds and a few seconds until you get door adds. Here it would be wise you put a DnD by the door and be ready with an outbreak and DS or HS for one big add. Taunt the other, dragging both back into your DnD where you can spread diseases. Youll have your grip for the dinomancer and be in a good position to pick up additional adds coming from the door. Now use your stun so you can spare some more runes for BB and HS. The entire time, be soaking with AMS for more RS or for DRW (amazing CD).

Just know your game plan going into every situation and no one will rip aggro off you, and if they do, we have two taunts :D Aggro for us is all about preparing ourselves. If a blood dk dies or loses aggro, it is always because of a lack of preparation in our rune management.
When tanks were having issues of adds sticking on the MT for Horridon I just had to get them to understand why it was happening. For example one of them as a Monk tank who was tanking the boss basically where some of the adds spawn. His keg throws on the boss were splashing the adds making them drawn to him. A Prot Pally with the Battle Healer glyph would have some coming to her because of healing aggro. Now for healing aggro that is more the fault of the other tank not getting aggro on the mob but once it's in the pally's consecrate it will be a aggro fight.

Horridon adds are tricky just because your aggro is tied a bit to runes. This takes planning and experience to better master. If your group is constantly changing tanks it can make it worse. DPS not attacking mobs before you can even get aggro can make it hard so you have to plan ahead for that. The list goes on. Aggro is something we have to stay on when it comes to adds streaming in. Single target is easy for us compared.

Against other tanks though Monks have snap aggro we do not. They'll be the hardest to get mobs off. But really when the monk is purposely going all out with aoe aggro then it's truly on them to survive. There is a point when a tank is their own worst enemy.
As Tor said, tank vs tank aggro is something of a battle right now. Monks and hastepallies do INSANE threat right now, AoE and single target. It's part of THEIR job to realize how much of a threat advantage they have and be careful when they throw their shield, or use keg smash. It's no different from when tank A is kiting and tank B has to watch his threat so he doesn't get some of the kited adds and dies. tanks working together to make sure the mobs are on the correct tank is not a new concept, just one that's not been exercised much lately.

As far as horridon goes, I recommend blood tap. It's a dps loss (so a slight tps loss) but it allows you to make sure you ALWAYS have a blood boil ready for new adds. Also make sure you are timing your +threat from DRW intelligently. Use it just before the difficult adds drop (usually the split 2nd balcony adds, but that could just be me) and don't be afraid to ask for misdirect from a hunter. It is in the game for a reason and has an extremely short CD.
Yes, carry many reagents so you can change your talents at will. Blood Tap for one boss. Runic Corruption or Empowerment for another. Just like how Desecrated Ground or Remorseless Winter may work for one boss but not another. Another common swap I find is between Purgatory & Anti-Magic Zone. The list goes on.

edited to add.

Another one I change based on a fight is Death's Advance & Asphyxiate. Either of them can be useless really. Advance for example is not even really helpful on a fight where you are mostly static while many mobs are not even able to be silenced or stunned.
Reniat could i have your opinion on this? Its something i posted as a response to a debate over our tier set.

"You know, im actually not sure about the tanking 4 set... It actually looks really good. Given a 10 minute fight, keeping your bone shield on cd,
(900/30)=30 rune strikes
30*2=60 blood charges= 12 death strikes
Not sure how much better the offset gear is than the tier, but i think 12 DS > stats on gear. any thoughts?

Its actually the 2 set im not too excited about. Over the same 10 minute fight, with 850k hp, youd heal for a total of 2.55 million if it was used on cd perfectly. This would save a fraction of your healer's mana and boost your healing done a tad but i dont see this saving your life at all. Sure a free 10% heal as an "oh !@#$ i have nothing" button might buy you time to ds, but we can already do that without the tier. As a dk, our job is to even out our damage, not decrease total damage taken. I would get the 2 piece just because i need it to have a 4 piece."
In a perfect world the 2 piece should just be a stepping stone to a 4 piece. Both just a benefit but not dependent on. At least as I see it. Think of them as benefits. Sacrificing some mastery for them should be doable. Honestly tier should out weigh stats on any other gear or Blizz isn't doing it's job right. Generally in the past the tier has been worth using just at times a DK would take the high road and pass on it until other classes that get more out if their bonuses get it first.
04/25/2013 03:39 PMPosted by Azulonyx
As a dk, our job is to even out our damage, not decrease total damage taken.
Which is what the 2pc does (kind of). 10% isnt a lot, but it can take a 40% damage spike that you would probably want to DS after and turn it into a 30% spike, which you may not have to use DS after, potentially saving a DS for a later spike.

Now the 4pc, is really not worth getting. 12 death over TEN MINUTES is not anything worth a salt. Tanking is not about overall anything. You can be easy to heal for 99.9% of the fight but if you spike hard enough for .1% of the fight and die you're still dead. That's also assuming you don't cap RP at any time, which is not even remotely realistic this tier. There is pretty much ALWAYS going to be something to AMS soak for RP, which just increases the chance that BS rp from 4pc will lead to wasted RP.

TL;DR: get your 2pc with the best 2 itemized tier pieces (helm/shoulder) and then pass on leg/chest/hands tier and go for thunderforged off-tier pieces that are better itemized.
Ok i see where youre coming from. thanks for the input.
Reniat, the fact that you give advice on a person by person basis is just amazing. Really. Top notch guide, top notch advice, good guy all around. That is all.
Thank you :)
OK since a few ppl are asking about aggro issues they are having i'd like to ask something as well. I was up to a few days ago running a hit/exp/mastery build. From what i had read on a few different forums this was an easy and still very good build. My guild has recently decide to go more progression based since we reformed. And as such i was told i needed to go with a more mastery build do to spike damage i was taking, on megaera From when i went from the green head to the red head. Befor i wasn't having too much troble with aggro vs our monk tank. On single target it was fine, on an aoe if he hit his keg smash before i was able to get off a dnd and spread my deisease. I had no chance what so ever to catch up. And since I went and changed my build is seems now even on a single target fight if he coughs at the target he pulls off me. Just looking for a lttle advice.
You're not going to out threat a monk tank right now. You're just not. They do an insane amount of burst aoe threat. The only way you could do a similar amount of dps/tps is if you stacked haste/crit. Your monk tank needs to realize that he does more burst threat than you do, and that he needs to be careful when a new target is out or a tank swap just took place.
YO! long time no post!!! haha welcome back to hordies Renny!. later guys and gals, awesome thread here!! keep it going.
Hey Reniat,

I was excited to see that the Icy-Veins guide had been revamped (I'm far past the point of needing it but it's still interesting to see other people's thoughts on playstyle and such), and even more so to see you had helped them do it. I had one question about the section for rotation. It says to use Heart Strike when you have Blood Runes available, and then to move on to Rune Strike. When I play, I tend to use enough Heart Strikes to keep my blood runes regenning but otherwise prioritize Rune Strike over Heart Strike since Rune Strike does more damage in a single target situation and procs my T5 talent. Is this not optimal, or was that too complicated for the limited nature of the guide? I can't see why you'd want to use Heart Strike over Rune Strike if at least one of your blood runes is on cooldown.

Thanks for your time!
They want to have a priority system for their rotation section. There is a reason I do not have an enumerated list in my guide, and that is because I don't like putting tank abilities into a priority based lists, since priority based lists infer a sense of time, and with tanking sometimes you want to use ability x then y, but sometimes you want to use ability y then x.

Icy-veins is mainly focused at people who are just learning the class or who still have a lot to learn about the class, and a priority system is what people generally know from dps classes so it's generally easier to understand. it makes sense why they do it and in the end it's not a huge deal, and no one is going to be a bad tank because they read that you should put heart strike before rune strike, since as long as you're doing everything right that really won't matter at all, especially with a 1s gcd.
Ok, that's what I assumed was the case. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something! Thanks.
Hello everyone. Just wanted to comment about the threat recently these past few days. I am not sure if I am doing something wrong but I have not changed anything. I used to be able to hold threat with no issues except of course monks but lately I can't hold threat against any other tank always staying at about 98% threat the entire time another tank is on the same boss and forget about aoe threat its non existent. I could really use some advise with this because it is really frustrating. I used to be able to throw down dnd outbreak bb and locked threat not anymore. Anyone else having this issue?

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