Blood DK raid tanking - help!

Death Knight

I have come here to the death knight forums searching for help, and perhaps a bit of clarification. Our guild is 11/16 heroic in 10 man, and we have spent the previous three nights wiping on heroic Empress (with no end in sight). I (a paladin) am one of the tanks, and the other tank is a death knight (we are using a 3rd tank, a druid, on this fight as well).

Can someone tell me if these numbers (for an entire raid night) sound accurate?

Number of heart strikes - 1615
Number of death strikes - 671
Number of rune strikes - 1533


I am asking this because our death knight tank (Kryst) seems to have serious threat issues and has had trouble staying alive throughout this entire tier. I am not too knowledgable on death knights, but it seems that if he wants to stack mastery (which he insists on doing) he should be using his death strike a lot more to proc his blood shield.

I have looked at various other logs of blood death knights and it seems that the times they use their death strike is very similar to the amount of time they use their heart strike. The tank in my guild, however, is doing nearly 2.5 times the amount of heart strikes that is the ability which procs his blood shield, death strike.

In my mind, this ties in with his lack of threat and survivability. When he taunts off of me, I oftentimes have to hit hand of salvation on myself (sometimes twice in a row) and auto attack once it wears off, and I STILL pull threat.

Can anyone who knows more about death knight tanking than I do (which isn't much) please take the time to look at these logs and tell me if I am accurate in what I am saying? I have tried talking to him in the past and all he says is that he hits his death strike "whenever it is off cooldown". Is there anything else he is doing wrong in his rotation or whatnot so I can give him some constructive criticism?

Thank you for any help.
Giving us numbers for the night is not the best, as that includes stuff like trash.

I'll take a look at the logs.

Either way, that seems like *a lot* of heart strikes.
The average healing from his death strike is 58k, this means he is getting a lot of minimum shields.

He is also gemming wrong.

He is also not using Lichborne.
In 6 minutes and 39 seconds he did only 33 death strikes, which is kinda low, it should be more around 45-50.

Heart strike is a cleave, so if he hits 3 targets with it, it will display on WoL as being cast 3 times.

This is the same for death and decay, and blood boil.

He let diseases drop several times, however, by the look of his disease ticks he was tanking single target and it was only up 86% of the time.

If he was only on 1 target, he is definitely spending WAY too many runes on heart strike / blooid boil.

He only Anti-Magic Shelled 5 times, this is low.
Threat issues could be a l2p issue, or could stem from his excessive use of heart strike.

Death Strike has a lot of base crit chance.
My group is only 4/6 H-Hof right now, so I haven't had a chance to tank H-Emp yet. However, I usually come out almost 1:1 on Death Strikes to Heart strikes on a mostly single target fight.

His gemming is acceptable. Most top dk's can't agree on stacking Master>Stam or Stam>Mastery, but either way tends to work equally well. Avoidance is junk for dk's right now. I've played around with stacking parry>dodge and I went from covering half of my heals to being a huge burden on the healers.

On the threat front: You're a haste pally, he won't be able to hold your threat when he taunts off you and you still have vengeance, so you'll just have to find a way to deal with it. I glyph dancing rune weapon for 100% bonus threat, and use that on the first tank swap. then the pally I tank with salv's himself on the next swap. then I have dancing rune weapon again by the third swap. but if you aren't trying to actively help him by not pulling the boss then you'll take it back fast.

Blood Shield is a big part of emperess for DK's. While he's off tanking he should still be death striking as often as possible to build up a maximum blood shield for the next swap. In Normal I barely even need to be healed on this fight now. I'm pretty sure even with heroic damage he should be able to buy the healer 5-10 seconds of easy healing on each swap.

Or you can try more healers. If my group gets amber shaper down this week our plan for Emperess is 2 tanks and 4 healers.
Here's a recent log of our 10M H Empress kill. Hopefully your DK can compare/constrast his logs and mine and get something out of it.

Your DKs log for your longest attempt that night:

My log:

Good luck on the kill!

EDIT: I was the third tank tanking a group of the three small adds during phase 2. During the other phases I just did not tank Empress herself and just did as much DPS as I could.
The average healing from his death strike is 58k, this means he is getting a lot of minimum shields.

He is also gemming wrong.

He is also not using Lichborne.

lichborne has nothing to do with threat issues. and you dont seriously need it besides for certain fights.
I never said lichborne had anything to do with threat issues, but its an amazing defensive cd, doubly so with the debuff and AMS giving a ton of RP.

He didn't purgatory much, but I understand why he is using it for progression, but you need something big to break it, like lay on hands or a greater healing wave with VB to heal through Shroud of Purgatory and ensure that he doesn't come out at 10% hp and get 1shot.

The average DS is quite low, regardless of whether he is stacking it up while not tanking, it should be higher.

Dancing Rune Weapon Glyph would help with his threat, but does reduce his damage.Also saving Blood Tap charges (I hope he isn't doing something silly like macroing it) and using them after he taunts would help

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