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A Final Good Bye

June 25, 2011

I’m not sure how many people will actually read this, but nonetheless it pains me to see this blog die out and me not state that the death is on purpose. So essentially I think I would like to give this blog some closure, not for the potential readers but for the site itself.

It was definitely fun writing Plagued Candles. It allowed me to talk about a portion of my life in a way that I had never expressed before, and I can appreciate that. Actually it saved my English grade too. I’ve progressed into a more skillful writer than I was prior to writing the blog.

For awhile I was playing really just to write for the blog. I had no reason to play WoW, but I did want to continue to talk about Death Knight Tanking. Well, maybe not Death Knight Tanking, but I wanted to write, I wanted a reason to write.

However, I think that when someone has lost their passion for writing they should stop. They should not force themselves to write something they really cannot put their heart and soul behind. And for me that’s what I feel about WoW. I just simply do not have fun with it.

Do I think it is a bad game? Well, it is not my game of choice right now, but if YOU are having fun with it then YOU should play it. Do not let anyone else tell YOU what YOU should do with your life. Be it play a video game you enjoy or what have you.

In the end of the day I guess I just have to say that I haven’t touched the game in months, so this blog is dead, though I would prefer to not kill it. Killing it would be erasing all the good times I have had with the blog, so instead I will let it live out its days for however long that may be.


I now am writing with a good friend of mine. I had originally wanted to begin writing a site for my Gaming experiences and whatnot, and I figured I should ask him to write with me since he had given me enough advice on the subject already. The two of us will be doing weekly video game reviews and just chatting about the games we play, hell we may write guides and tips, who knows?

For me it is a way for me to write about something that I like writing about. So, if you felt like reading more of what I write you’re more than welcome to join Mycosynth and I at Flawless Victory!

Thank You

Thank you everyone for reading what I have said. You have no clue how much it means to know that you have helped a person. I have had many great experiences with the readers of this blog, and I cannot express how much it meant to me to know that I have helped people with whatever information I have posted here.




The Death Knight Tank and You: OH SHI- Buttons (Part 2)

January 17, 2011

Goggles, they're frickin awesome.

We find our hero in the Ebon Hold contemplating life, or in his case… death? No wait… undeath!

First of all, I would like to thank everyone who commented with suggestions/tips on things that I overlooked or didn’t clarify in the last installment of The Death Knight Tank and You. Secondly, I’d like to apologize about waiting so damn long for a post. Things just got busy again but hopefully we’re in the clear for awhile!

Let’s continue!

Army of the Dead

Wait, Elnoriah, I thought you were going in alphabetical order!

Yes, but I completely forgot about Army, and thankfully I had a few people who commented remind me of this so I’ll start by briefly describing this oh so FUN button!

Army of the Dead is an ability which you summon 10 ghouls to fight for you for an entire minute, or until they all die. Whichever comes first determines how long your new found friends survive. The cost of this ability is one of each rune (Blood/Unholy/Frost), and after it is cast it can’t be used for another 10 minutes.

The ghouls themselves are actually quite powerful and will fight everything you are in combat with and will constantly taunt those mobs keeping them off of you AND the rest of the group. Also, as this is a channeled spell Blizzard decided to throw in the fact that you take a bit of reduced damage while summoning your comrades from the ground (the damage is reduced based upon your dodge/parry ratings).

How should it be used?

It should be used in a period where you can sacrifice 4 seconds of channeling in order to spawn your ghouls. This is an excellent way to save a group since the ghouls do a damn good job of keeping everything off of the group. However, ensure that you have at least 50% HP or more when popping the button as there’s no point to start summoning the ghouls if you are just going to end up being dead within a second.

If the Healer is dangerously low on Mana and you are most likely going to die, pop this button.

Blood Tap

…Fuck I missed another one last time, didn’t I?

Right, well Blood Tap is a rather interesting cool down. It can be used once a minute for 6% of your base HP which is a very low cost on a not so bad C/D. However, if you are awesome and used the minor glyph, Glyph of Blood Tap then there is no HP loss and it’s just frickin’ amazing. So, essentially what it does is turns a Blood Rune into a Death Rune which means that you can use that rune as a Blood/Unholy/Frost rune.

How should it be used?

If you need any sort of rune (if all are refreshing) then you may pop this to allow you to pop a C/D or do another attack. However, another good use for this ability is if you have only an Unholy or a Frost rune you may pop it and the Death Rune will allow you to do another Death Strike which will heal you and activate your Mastery. Trust me, Death Strikes are pretty damn awesome and you should always try to shoot for having your Blood Shield up at all times.

Icebound Fortitude

This is a rather simplistic OH SHI- button in that it just reduces the damage you take flat out. There isn’t anything special or unique or interesting about it. You freeze your blood and take less damage. However, that does not mean that Icebound Fortitude isn’t a REALLY good button to press in a tight situation!

For the cost of 20 RP and a 3min wait time you take 20% less damage and are immune to stun effects. However, if you are a smart person and specced into Sanguine Fortitude (2/2) you will then take an additional 30% less damage (30% + 20% = 50%) and also have it cost absolutely NO RP to use the button.

When should it be used?

Considering the fact that you take half the damage you would normally take for free it should be used whenever you can make a smart decision to use it most efficiently. This means that whenever there is a high amount of damage being thrown out in an encounter you should pop it. When you pull a few too many trash mobs you should pop it. Pop it when you think the healer needs a break. When you think that you are going to be taking a lot of damage this button is your BEST FRIEND. So like any good friend you should hit it and expect it to work for you.

Disclaimer: Don’t hit your friends as they will probably hit you back, harder.


“But we aren’t PVPing, I don’t need anything to break out of fear. If I did I’d have rolled Forsaken!”

Someone’s a tough guy, eh?

While yes, Lichborne is an amazing PVP OH SHI- button, it also turns you into an Undead for 10 seconds. Wait, why would we want to become Undead? Well, if we look at the Death Coil ability it states that it will heal a friendly Undead target on an amount based upon your AP. Wait, you’re now Undead for 10seconds! Oh AND you are a rather friendly and outgoing individual.

Guess what you can do? Heal the FUCK out of yourself. While you probably will get out 4-5 DCs (MAX) out within those 10 sec which is still a significant amount to heal yourself for in such a short time. Just remember that Lichborne does have a 2min C/D!

How should it be used?

Use it at a time when the Healer needs a break from healing you to regen mana and the like. So at that point just pop your Lichborne and start launching DCs at yourself! Trust me, if it makes the Healer’s life easier, it’s probably a good time to start healing yourself, at least for 10 seconds!

Oh, and also make a macro, hell I’ll even show you the one I’m currently using so you can just copy/paste that shit into a button.

/cast Lichborne
/cast [target=player] Death Coil

It’s pretty straight forward, and to cast another DC just hit the button again, while you can’t cast Lichborne again you can cast the DC on yourself!

Rune Tap

So, I heard you like heals, so we put another damn heal at your disposal. Yeap, Blizzard just loves us so much that they want to rid the community of Healers and just replace everything with Blood DK Tanks.

Rune Tap costs a single Blood Rune and for that will give you 10% of your maximum HP with the click of a button. While it can be glyphed to give the whole party the same healing I wouldn’t recommend it at this point, but it could have its uses depending on your situation. Anyways it’s a fairly simple button, but can be used to save your ass from certain death! Oh, it has a short C/D of 30 seconds, and remember that it can’t be used while Silenced!

When should it be used?

Use it whenever you would like, the cool down and cost are small enough to allow you to use it whenever you need. If the Healer needs some help healing you up a bit the 10% is a noticeable amount to throw on yourself. Or if you find yourself at sub 30% levels of HP you’ll probably want to scream LIVE DAMN IT and smash your keyboard to find this button.

Vampiric Blood

Yet another amazing C/D that we get as Death Knight Tanks. Vampiric Blood boosts your HP by 15% and gives you increased healing by 25% for 10 seconds. After the effect is lost you lose the extra HP. The cost for this button is simply a 1min wait time to use it again. Oh and luckily it doesn’t make you sparkle, otherwise I’d just reroll. Fuckin’ Twilight…

The glyph which is actually rather sexiful takes away the 15% bonus HP for 10sec and instead gives you 15% extra healing being taken in. So 40% total bonus healing? Damn straight, that sounds excellent!

When should it be used?

Like IBF it should be used when the Healer needs a bit of help keeping you up at periods of increased damage intake. This allows them to amplify their heals by a large number so don’t be afraid to use it. Personally I tend to pop it either when a lot of damage is incoming OR when I dip below 50% HP. At that point it takes them practically no time to bring me back to the top again!


Our OH SHI- buttons are amazing and now you know just how damn awesome they are. Next week we’ll begin learning about gearing up your character and the like so get ready for that. Other than that, class is now dismissed!

Happy WoWing!



The Death Knight Tank and You: OH SHI- Buttons (Part 1)

December 28, 2010

No, giant orc children isn't a DK cool down....

We find our hero tinkering with his new goggles, he’s clearly entertained for the next 30 seconds…

Death Knight tanking is a unique style of tanking just like any of the others. However, it’s not only the fact that we don’t require a shield or any kind of furry form to tank and with our own set tanking tree we don’t have the amazing amount of customization that we had in WOTLK. No, instead it’s the amount and requirement of our play style that we use our cool downs (or OH SHI- buttons as I like to call them) at the best possible times. In a sense we rely on our cool downs to allow us to tank the way we do.

That can be said for any class, if a Warrior is dieing he needs to pop a cool down to mitigate the extra damage he is tanking. The same goes for a Paladin or a Druid, however Death Knights are a little different. We have many more cool downs, heals, and damage reduction abilities in our arsenal. Not even counting trinkets we have about 10 (if you count Bone Shield, which I am).

For today’s lesson let’s break down the OH SHI- buttons and learn how/when to use them and figure out what they do!

Anti-Magic Shell

Being my favorite of the Death Knight tanking OH SHI- buttons, Anti-Magic Shell certainly makes Death Knights the best tank for casters. While this is up you receive 75% less spell damage and absolutely no magic-based debuffs can be put onto you. You’re basically untouchable unless you’re up against a melee mob in which case you’re downright stupid for popping Anti-MAGIC Shell.

This cool down costs no runic power anymore so it’s free to use whenever you see fit. Also, this cool down has a total duration of 5 seconds so you’ll want to pop it when a mass of unavoidable/uninterruptable magic damage is going to smash into you.

How should it be used?

Well I just said that it should be used at a point where you are going to be hit with uninterruptable damage. However, another use for it is to clear off stacks of a magic-based debuff. So, say there is a boss that the group is constantly getting stacks of a DoT with frost magic damage on it. What you would want to do is to wait for the tick to be less than 5 seconds and be at a fairly decently numerous stack number and then pop AMS.

Now the DoT stack will fade away and begin at one yet again allowing you to be more easily healed and take significantly less damage. I’m sure you can think of plenty of other awesome ways to use AMS such as moving out of fire/shiet, but I’ll leave that up to your little creative minds.

Bone Shield

While it’s not so much of a cool down, Bone Shield is an extremely useful ability for use to have up. It costs 1 unholy rune and lasts a duration of 5 minutes. However, it generally will not last the full 5 minute duration as it only has 3 charges on it. The ability itself reduces damage taken by 20%, but you lose a charge each time you are hit.

Still, 20% less damage for 3 hits and this can be put up long before a fight even starts giving you plenty of time to recharge your unholy rune. Plus, with the Glyph of Bone Shield you run 15% faster allowing you to maneuver around into battle faster and begin your threat rotation sooner.

How should it be used?

It is on a 1 minute cool down, but do not be fooled for it is not meant to be an in combat cool down. The 1 unholy rune can be a bit of an annoying loss for one trying to build threat in a boss fight, and while the damage reduction is good, it’s not worth screwing up your rotation to no end. Instead use it a bit prior to your next pull when it is off its cool down. From there you get 20% less damage taken for the first few (and sometimes most crucial) seconds of the pull.

Death Pact

This OH SHI- Button is one of the many heals that we can throw on ourselves at any time. However, there is a catch to Death Pact, we must sacrifice one of our undead minions in order for it to heal our lives. You spineless Death Knights that actually still have emotions can leave the room now.

However, Death Pact is an excellent way to recover from a low amount of HP. What I tend to do is use the ability Raise Dead and then immediately kill off the ghoul with my Death Pact. However, this is not limited to your ghoul, it can work off of any other undead creature you control such as an Army of the Dead ghoul.

In addition to killing off one of our undead comrades, we also have to use 40 RP to use the ability, but for healing us for 25% hp that’s a modest price. Trust me, it’s more than worth it to kill off your undead minions, most of them lost the will to live as soon as the sprouted anyhow. You’re doing them a FAVOR!

How should it be used?

Death Pact is best used when you are below 50% HP and your Healer is fairly low on Mana. This should be used to buy yourself and your Healer some time as he regenerates his health and you ready yourself for the next near-death blow that the encounter provides in the next few sec- oh there it is!

See you’d have been dead had you not used Death pact so strategically. Now, assuming your Healer is downright awesome and was able to regenerate his mana the fight should go smoothly, if not, you died in vain but you at least died a little slower, and for that we thank you.

Protip: Standing in fire is okay so long as you dance.

Dancing Rune Weapon

When I first noticed Dancing Rune Weapon I was…. disappointed to say the least. However, when I actually read the tooltip/Glyph of Dancing Rune Weapon I was more than pleased to say that Blizzard just gave us the best damned Threat increasing/damage reduction talent in the god damned game. Basically what it does is for 12 seconds spawns a copy of your weapon that does the exact same abilities that you do in that time period.

Diseases/abilities/whatever, however it is 50% less damage, still though that is a decent amount of damage. However, it also gives you 20% parry in that time period which is actually pretty significant. Now with the amazing, sexiful, glyph you do 50% more threat during that 12 second duration as well.

While it is on a 1.5 min c/d and costs 60 RP, the benefits for it are more than worth it to use it whenever you possibly can. Do you need some extra threat at the beginning of a boss? Need to parry those strikes a bit more? Hell, maybe you just want to ensure that god damned Rogue doesn’t pull off of you so you pop it and scream suck it as you dominate the Threat meter. Whatever it is, DRW is your friend.

How should it be used?

Use it whenever you’re taking a decent amount or damage OR need extra TPS. This goes for practically any point of a fight, even if it is a caster you can still benefit from DRW assuming you NEED the extra TPS on that mob. How do you know if you honestly need the TPS? Well, if someone is about to pull off you that’s the best indicator, if not then if someone is at 80-90% threat and the mob is more than 25% hp.

There really is no downright wrong way to use this OH SHI- button unless it’s a caster mob that you have plenty of threat on.

Empower Rune Weapon

Elnoriah you bastard, this is a DPS C/D! Oh damn, you caught me. Here’s your frickin’ diploma.

Yes, Empower Rune Weapon is a DPS C/D, however that also means it allows us to generate threat/healing as a Blood Death Knight tank. Both of which pertain to us as a whole and of which leads me to believe that this is actually one of our OH SHI- buttons as well as those DPS Death Knights.

What this does is completely refreshes our runes no matter if they’re recharging or not, and it also gives us 25 RP. The only cost it has is the cost of us having to wait 5 minutes to use it again, so essentially it can be used once a boss fight. This means that as a Tank we have to use this the most efficient way possible.

How should it be used?

There are two ways it could be used. 1) You need more threat so some more heart strikes and some more Death Strikes and more Rune Strikes are necessary for you to have a good grip on that boss you’re up against. 2) You require more healing and so need the Death Strikes and the RP for Lichborne Death Coil heals/Death Pact sacrifice heals. Or hell you can use a combination of the two.

Either way you’ll want to use this when either you need more TPS (generally at the beginning or at the burn phase if a DPS is catching up) or when you need Healing and your Healer is too low on the blue stuff to whip up some HP for you. Use your own judgment on this, but just remember you’ll probably only get one.


Okay, so instead of going on with Blood Tap, Rune Tap, Icebound Fortitude, Lichborne, and Vampiric Blood I figure this is a good place to make a halfway mark, students. So go on, have fun and learn more about the cool downs we discussed today. Next week we will cover the rest of the OH SHI- Buttons of Cataclysm.

Happy WoWing


Setting Priorities and Crowd Control

December 26, 2010


Our hero finds himself yet again queuing for the same damn instances, his luck seems to have run out…

A major, MAJOR difference from Wrath of the Lich King to Cataclysm is definitely the level of difficulty of the dungeons, that one is certainly the most obvious. While it could be merely the fact that we all have rather bad gear, it could also just be that Blizzard designed the 5 mans well enough to provide a challenge. Personally I’m hoping it’s the second one.

Regardless, not just the boss fights got harder in the new dungeons, just regular trash pulls are enough to wipe groups if you don’t execute them well. “Yeah, whatever I’ll just AOE them down!” does not work anymore unless it’s just a ton of non elites in a shit pull. Now we have to mark our priorities and use our CC to the best of our abilities.

Marking Priorities?

Well, generally speaking there is almost always a more-powerful-than-the-rest mob within a pull you know, the one that inconveniences you the most, makes you sweat a little when you have to fight it in addition to the rest of the less powerful mobs. Yes, THAT ONE, most of the time it’s a caster because casters are just annoying in general, but don’t always assume that!

Even if you don’t know which mob is the most troublesome, you’ll still want to mark a specific mob with our buddy the SKULL. You can do this by clicking on the mob’s portrait, hovering over the Mark option, and then going through the list until you can see a skull. When people see a skull it tends to say hey, this guy needs to DIE kill him first DPS!

When everyone is smart enough to be on the same mob it tends to drop much, MUCH faster. (Who would have thought!?!) There is actually a name for this ancient technique, it’s called Focus Firing. It’s not a buff, but in a sense it is in that it allows everyone to work together and down mobs at lightning speeds!

Do you have to mark in order to achieve a group focus firing? Not necessarily, I’m certain that there are people smart enough to attack the Tank’s target, but personally I hate relying on people’s possible intelligence because lately there has not been a great showing of that in Randoms. Instead it’s better to just take a second to plan out your pulls BEFORE you go headstrong and try and take down Deathwing and his army in one pull… Wrath style!

Crowd Control, the hell is that?

Oh you mean the stuff that PvPers use? Oh that stuff is only in arena why would I have to…

No. No. A thousand times more, NO. Crowd Control, or better known as CC, is an ancient technique used by players to keep mobs out of combat in group pulls and in many cases even boss fights themselves. While CC isn’t as necessary as it was back in TBC and Vanilla it’s still fairly mandatory now in Cataclysm, but not to the degree that it used to be.

First of all pretty much any class combo have the ability to do some sort of CC except for DPS Warriors and DPS Death Knights. Sure you’ve got Intimidating Shout and Hungering Cold, but they’re really only OH DAMN OUR CC FAILED LET’S INCAPACITATE THEM A LITTLE LONGER abilities. Not to say they aren’t useful, they just aren’t great for what we’re going to be needing them for!

Basically CC is taking any other class’ ability and taking out at least 1 mob in each pull we do (3 mob pulls you can get away with not bothering). While as I said it isn’t necessary to CC on every pull, it definitely makes it on yourself and your healer for you to not be taking more damage if you can prevent it.

CC doesn’t mean that you personally have to trap that target as the Tank, what it means is that you’ll most likly being the one leading your group, and as a leader you should be using your group’s abilities to make the run as smooth as possible. Less damage taken by you, the better it is for the Healer, and in turn it allows the DPS to focus better on the task at hand. CC doesn’t make pulls easier, it just breaks them up enough for them to BE easier.

It’s a matter of planning your battles before rushing in there, something that Wrath had us doing on a rare occasion.

What do these marks mean?

While it’s not set in stone, I figure that it would not be a bad idea to give you what I use each of the icons for when I am marking up my mobs in pulls.

Skull – Kill first, destroy it, obliterate it, send it back to internet hell!

X– Kill second, I only use this if there is a second in priority mob in a pull, not so much every pull!

Circle- SAP!

Square- Trap!

Diamond- Banish

Star- Other CC (I used to use this for shackle)

Triangle- Other CC

You can make up your own, but sometimes it does help to see what others use. Be sure to inform your CCers which mark they’ll be throwing their CC’s at rather than just assuming. Some people use the marks differently!

Happy Wowing!


Que the Volcano, He’s Back (again)!

December 21, 2010

I wonder if Whale Sharks get trapped in tuna nets...

We find our hero in the Ebon Hold, even though the world blew up some things just don’t change…


Well, for a while I’ve had the urge to write, however like a good teenager I ended up getting a job in the hopes of being able to purchase one of those motorized vehicles. Top that off with that damned school work and Eagle Project and you have a very busy Death Knight. However, I’ve finally gotten into the swing of my newly improved (debatable) life so I think I can manage to write yet again.

My first problem is writing something of value due to the fact with such a busy personal life I can’t have a dedicated raiding guild and I’m fairly behind on the content. Then again I couldn’t care less because being casual with my friends is more than enough value for my $15.00 a month.

What’s been going on since Cataclsym

1) I shmucked along with Elnoriah and managed to cap him at 85

2) I formed a casual guild with people (more on that later)

3) I’ve been attempting to choose a dedicated alt, and I’m currently debating whether or not to have a duel to the death with myself over it. That just seems too damn silly though…

4) I’ve realized that Blizzard hates me and doesn’t want to let me get my Tanking gear so I can do Heroics.

5) Questing is FUN…. really fun!

What’s going on with Plagued Candles?

Okay, well I’m hoping that from now on I’ll be posting a Death Knight Tank and You: every Tuesday. Hopefully it will have SOME sort of value and education for everyone looking for DK Tanking tips. In addition to that I’m sure I can kick Alex a bit into writing some guides and stuff, hell maybe we’ll make videos, who knows but we’ll be productive, hopefully.

I’m going to need to redo the site, it feels too… lame. Graphics upheaval will be fairly soon, hopefully.

Guild, did you say guild?

No, oh yes I mean yes! Basically Alex, his friend Mycosynth, my buddy Fury, and a few others started up a casual guild for us to grab some randoms and hopefully slice a bit of raiding cake within this expansion. The guild’s name is which is to pay a little homeage for Fury, myself and Klinderas original guild in Burning Crusade.

At the moment it’s ran by Klin and myself as self-proclaimed leaders of this establishment.

The reason I’m going to touch on the subject is probably because I’ll be talking about casual guilds and the like based on our experiences in the future. Plus it’s just been fun to get the group of us together in the same place not having a set goal of playing the game hardcore(ish).


Our projections for this quarter shall hopefully be deliciously delicious. So, from now on I’m hoping that Plagued Candles will yet again be a site for the good of all mankind and not some dead as a coffin stump in the internet.

Happy WoWing!


The Death Knight Tank and You: 4.0.1 Specs

October 20, 2010


A heroic fight to the death on a bridge with a spider? Good lord ladies, how could you leave a man like this single!?



We find our hero in the Ebon Hold, apparently class is finally back in session!

This week, students I decided that we should start at the basics for Tanking in this new, groundbreaking (literally) patch. We could go over techniques or abilities, but we’d best get a healthy foundation before starting talking about those. Let’s learn about how we should tweak our characters before how to play them!

Blood Red Spec

Hopefully as you all know, Death Knights now have a dedicated Tanking Talent Tree. Of course it is the Blood Tree seeing as it was the best Raid Tank spec pre 4.0. The tree focuses around self-healing, avoidance, and mitigation thus making it a perfect tree. Along with its cool downs it was probably the best move for Blizzard to make, rather than balance 3 Tanking Trees, 3 DPS Trees, and 3 PvP Trees.

In addition to the Tanking Tree, they also changed the Blood and Frost Presences a bit. Now, Frost gives 15% additional damage done, and Blood gives 8% additional STAM, 60% additional Armor Value from Armor, 8% reduced damage taken, and increased Threat generation. Basically they just switched Blood Presence with Frost Presence in case you haven’t caught on.


The way choosing talents works now is quite different from pre 4.0; you put your first 31 points into the spec you will be “maining”. So as a Tank we have an easy decision, we have to put at LEAST 31 points into our Blood spec before we can move out into Frost/Unholy. This means we get plenty of great suvivability talents and our 31 pts talent, Dancing Rune Weapon which is deliciously epic.

In addition to being able to put talents into your spec, Blizzard also gave each spec “perks” and one of their essential moves, or more specifically in our case we get Heart Strike! Included with the perks also is our Mastery skill which I will go over in a few more paragraphs so sit tight!

Blood Death Knight’s “Perks” are as follows:

  • Veteran of the Third War: Before the current patch, this used to be a staple Talent in any Blood DK Tank’s spec. It’s just a simple increase to our HP (6% STAM) and 6 extra expertise which is our highest TPS generation stat. Needless to say regardless of what you were going to do in your Tanking spec you’d grab that if you were a Blood Tank.
  • Blood Rites: This was also another useful Talent for a Blood DK to grab. As it says in the description, whenever you Death Strike/Obliterate the Frost and Unholy Runes would turn into Death Runes which could count for any single rune (Blood/Frost/Unholy). Death Runes are great in tight situations where you may need to pop a C/D and don’t have the Blood runes up to do so, or just simply need some more Blood Boil/Heart Strike in an AOE situation.
  • Vengeance: A very nice add to our Perks is the Vengeance passive skill. It is basically free AP which equates to free TPS, TPS is good so thus we have a useful addition to our passive buffs. Whenever we take Damage (absorbed damage included) 5% of the damage is reverted into AP. The 5% goes up to 10% of our Total HP so we can get a decent amount of AP out of the deal.

Mastery: Blood Shield

Whenever you hit lvl 80 one of the skills you are able to train as any class is a skill called Mastery. This allows the soon-to-be-obtainable Mastery Points on gear to be useful to your role/Class. Each spec has a specific base Mastery that empowers/is triggered by their abilities and the Mastery Points themselves further empower the bonus by the amount specified in the tool tips of the Mastery Skill for each spec.

Basic Reforging

Currently, the only way for us to obtain additional Mastery is to reforged Stats on gear. This actually is not a bad deal, if you are over the hit cap/expertise cap (soft cap is 26 which is what we’re aiming for) or there are just some plain useless “rating” (crit/spirit/haste/expertise/hit/dodge/parry/block) you can turn half of those points on any piece of gear into points of a different rating that is not present on the gear.

Example: Munchy has a chest that gives him

  • 100 STAM
  • 78 STR
  • 50 AGI
  • 40 Haste Rating
  • 90 Hit Rating

However, Munchy realizes that he is far over the Hit Cap and would prefer Mastery over the Hit Rating on his Chest. So, he will pay the nice Reforger at the Enchanter shop in any Major City a fair sum in order to exchange 45 HR to 45 Mastery. Munchy is now much happier with his Chest item and will go on his merry way to thrash the living hell out of mobs in various Heroics.

Okay, I got a bit side tracked there, but that rambling may actually benefit some of you students so copy those notes down. Any who, our Mastery Skill is called Blood Shield this works off of the sheer power and awesomeness that is our Death Strike. The healing received from our DS (overhealing included) will also pop a shield sort of like a Priest’s or Pally’s that is at 50% strength of the previous DS. That’s a bit of a confusing explanation, but some nice confusing Math will do the trick for explaining!

Example: Elnoriah’s Shield Power, maximum power for maximum awesome!

9000 Death Strike Heal * .5 (50%)  = Blood Shield absorption

9000 * .5  = 4500 damage absorbed

4500 = Blood Shield

However, the strength of the Blood Shield increases with the amount of Mastery you have. Each point of Mastery increases the amount of  the damage the shield absorbs by 6.25 %. A hefty amount if I do say so myself, so some revised math is in order!

Elnoriah is a cool kid who reforged his gear to grant him 4 additional Mastery Points equating to 25% extra absorption

9000 Death Strike Heal * .75 (50% + 25% = 75%) = Blood Shield absorption

9000 *.75 = Blood Shield

67500 = Blood Shield

Needless to say Mastery is going to become a staple in our damage mitigation. Honestly, look at that, at least right now in WOTLK that’s a great amount of free damage mitigation. However that much mastery right now is a bit annoying to obtain.

The Spec

Enough chit-chat, the actual spec is now far overdue. The best possible spec for Tanking as a Death Knight right now with our 36 available Talent Points at 80 (79 to be exact, it’s one every odd level plus 1 at 10, and then 1 for each level after 80) is a 33/0/3 spec. This spec grabs all of the essentials including Epidemic over in Unholy to extend our Disease timers.


The glyphs are also there courtesy of the folks over at the Elitist Jerks Death Knight Tanking thread. This gets you the most bang for your buck in my opinion, it’s got all the survivability needed to Raid Tank and the AoE needed to run Heroics. It’s delicious. However I do use a modded spec for my own personal uses.

It’s still a 33/0/3 spec, but I took the two points out of Blood Worms and put them in Abomination’s Might for the added DPS increase simply because Elnoriah here hasn’t been running many Raids that need the extra survivability of Blood Worms, and rather I’ve been futzing around with Alex and friends in Heroics that I out gear. However, when we start doing ICC again I’ll swap out the Abom’s Might for Blood Worms.


So there you have it, a spec for you to try out and familiarize yourself with and some further knowledge on the Blood Spec’s perks for us to toy around with. Next week we will be talking about Glyphs and what to do with them!

What’s your build? Are you using something different?


Tankatronics 4.0.1

October 17, 2010

Bones are an EXCELLENT source of protection!

Our hero is found zipping around the Ebon Hold clearly still excited from the recent changes made to his world…

As all of you (hopefully) know, 4.0.1 was released recently.  Now I’m sure there are some still figuring out that this ISN’T the Cataclysm, but merely a major patch preparing us for our impending doom trip of wonder. Blizzard being very sneaky changed around a few things in the game, mostly things pertaining to class mechanics, talents, gear, stats, the honor system, and the badge system. One thing that I don’t think hasn’t been discussed enough are some of the recent changes for Engineering.

Yes, it’s actually going to be USEFUL for Tanks. Not to say it isn’t a fun or useful skill, it’s just on the stats side it’s rather lacking. I’m sure you can argue that for any of the roles (although it’s rather nice as a DPS), but we’ll be focusing more on the Tanking perspective now.

Elnoriah has always been an Engineer and no lack of stats is going to change that, but this change actually made the skill worthwhile (not to say some cheap laughs wasn’t worth a grind to 450 anyways). We are allowed to have both a Tinker and an Enchant/Item Enhancement so long as the Tinker has a “USE:” effect. Hardcore to the Max I say!

In addition to being downright fun, this means that we can add more useful “enchants” to our gear just for being an Engineer, no need to swap one for the other anymore!

Head: Generally you had two choices between enhancements on the head. Generally you would grab the Arcanum of the Stalwart Protector (which now has +20 dodge rather than the extra Drating) as opposed to the Mind Amplification Dish. Now I bet you’re thinking, why would I desire to have the ability to control the minds of others?

Simply put, it gives a +45 STAM enhancement onto your Head as well as the ability to control minds. As opposed to the 37 STAM and additional avoidance (or prior to 4.0.1 Drating). It was a tough decision that one would have to make, yet now we don’t have to! The +45 extra STAM equates to roughly 500 or so HP.

I’m not complaining! Thanks for the HP increase, Blizz!

Cloak: Before this recent patch our choices as Tanks for cloak enchantments was either the Enchant Cloack- Titanweave (Now gives +16 dodge rather than the Drating), Enchant Cloak- Major Agility Enchant Cloak- Mighty Armor, or Flexweave Underlay Clearly that’s a LOT of options. Agility is generally the way to go to be honest, unless of course you weren’t Dcapped in which case you’d be wearing the Titanweave enchant.

Because the Flexweave Underlay gives about the same (1 more agi I win!) I’d usually choose that over either of the enchants. However, now we can use both the Enchant Cloak- Major Agility AND the Flexweave Underlay. That’s 55 Agi extra on top of your cloak. AKA Fucking Unbelievable.

Boots: As heart-rending as it was for a while I was forced to sacrifice my sweet, sweet Nitro Boosts for Tuskarr’s Vitality I now, however do not have to make that excruciatingly painful decision. Luckily for me, I can take my Nitro Boosts so I can speed while I speed and +15 STAM while I STAM!

Belt: No changes here, you can still put your frag belt on your belt and have the Belt Buckle in conjunction with it.

Hands: Unfortunately you cannot put the Reticulated Armor Webbing in addition to an Enchant such as Enchant Gloves- Armsman or +18 STAM Heavy Borean Armor Kit. This is because it does not have a “USE: ” button so it’s counted the same as an actual Enchant/Enhancement.

However, something like the Hyperspeed Accelerators and Hand-Mounted Pyro Rocket onto the gloves as well to give you a bit of a threat boost. Haste being the Stat which will lessen the C/D of our Runes, and the Rocket being a frickin’ rocket and doing some nice damage.

Conclusions: Engineering is useful for Tanking, hooray, all is right in the world and I can now sleep better at night. Luckily, though it would seem that Engineering is going to become even better in Cataclysm with things such as the Goggles becoming a really good Head item (the goggles have a special gem slot that is for Engineers only with OUTSTANDING gems). Not to say that the ilvl 200 Goggles weren’t great, but I do wish the lasted a LITTLE longer.