Monday, 18 October 2010

Patch 4.0.1 Death Knight Tanking

My DK was the third alt that I got to 80 and she was going to be my exclusive banker, thus the girl name that doesn't follow the rules of my other alts. I wanted to have her as a tank so I can do dailies and the weekly raid fast without wasting to much time on queues and trying to find a group. Before this patch, she was a frost tank and it went well for heroics and weekly raids. Thing have changed!

Now, keep in mind, this is all theoretical, as I am unable to play. This is what I would do in theory, but I have no idea how it would work in practice. Once I fix my hardware issues and start to play again, I will update all of my guides and try to make them as short and as simple to follow as possible. I'm not trying to do statistics here, I just want to make quick and easy "cheat sheets" so people can look up information in a hurry. If you want in-depth stuff, go to ElitistJerks or something.

First of all, Blood is the tank tree now. No Frost, no Unholy, just Blood. Period. I find this a welcome change as it will ease balancing and make it easier to understand for newbies. As for those who complain that the class isn't unique any more, go cry in a corner somewhere.

There are several ways  I could go with the spec here, but I think this version of 31/0/0 would be the core. As for the rest of the talents, we have a few choices. Keep in mind, Scarlet Fever and Abomination's Might are pretty much interchangeable, based on raid composition. If both is covered, you could take Blood-Caked Blade for threat or Hand of Doom for some utility.

As for the remaining 5 points, you could go allot of ways. There's 3 potential points in Epidemic, so you can keep your diseases up easier. Then you can add some to Unholy Command, but both of these are probably better choices in dungeons than in raids. You could also take both Scarlet Fever and Abomination's might to cover more areas in your raid/group, or put some points in Blood-Caked Blade to increase your single target threat.
For prime glyphs, good choices are Heart Strike and Rune Strike for more damage and threat, and Death and Decay for more AoE threat. There is also the option of Death Strike if you prefer to focus on single target.

For major glyphs, we have a few more choices. You could take Dancing Rune Weapon for more threat on cooldown, Vampiric Blood and Rune Tap for healing, Bone Shield so you can react faster and Blood Boil, Pestilence and Death Grip for more range, and better AoE. Anti-Magic Shell can also be situationally a good choice, as well as Strangulate.

As for minor glyphs, just pick what you like and what you feel like it might be useful. None of them affect your performance that much, but they actually seem fun.

Just remember, you learn glyphs now and always have them, so remember to switch when needed (those dusts aren't that expensive).

Stats and Reforging
Basically, if you have to much hit or expertise, reforge to other stats, based on what you need. You can't reforge to stamina so there really isn't a perfect answer for this. Still, Mastery probably is the better choice to reforge to. Once you get Expertise and Hit to cap values, you should probably reforge the excess to Mastery. You don't really need to be hit capped to tank, but you might as well if you got the gear. Extra threat is always welcome and gives you the chance to worry about other things.

In ICC, it's still Stamina all the way, nothing has changed there. If the socket bonus is 12 stamina or more, then take it, otherwise, don't bother. Use expertise, hit, dodge and parry in combination with stamina to get the bonus (green and purple). 

This really isn't as simple to explain as DPS priority/rotations, but let's try. Basically the best way to spend runic power is with Rune Strike. It causes the most amount of threat per point spent, by far. For AoE, Death and Decay is your friend, but keep in mind it will be up 50% of the time at best. If you took Crimson Scourge, Blood Boil will be a good addition here. Overall, Heart Strike will be the best choice, but you should really switch it up based on the situation.

Put diseases early and don't let them drop. Don't worry about clipping them, we aren't warlocks. If you have Scarlet Fever and Crimson Scourge, the best way to refresh diseases will always be Pestilence.

This one seems complicated, but the basic premise is simple. Use cooldowns as required. You have a wide array of choices and so pick the ones that are best for the situation. Also use your Rune Taps when needed. It's better to reduce your threat/damage output for a while than to die, the same goes for Death Strike. Summoning the Army of the Dead actually also grants you damage resistance while channeling, so keep that in mind for emergency situations. 

Most importantly, KEEP BONE SHIELD UP! 

So let's put all of this to practice. This is how you should start combat:
  • Apply diseases. Outbreak can be a quick and easy opener and it will leave your runes untouched, so you can then start with the hard hitters right away.
  • If you are the one with Scarlet Fever, use Blood Boil early and keep the debuff active.
  • If there's no emergency, just use Heart Strike. If there's more than 4-5 targets, use Blood Boil instead.
  • If you think it's getting tough, use Death Strike
  • If there's more multiple targets, Death and Decay. 
Well, that's about it, I hope it helps. Just remember that I had no way to test this. If you have something to add or you feel like something is wrong, let me know and I will correct it. You probably won't be getting a DPS guide for Death Knights for me, since, other then leveling, I have no experience with it.