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The Death Knight Tank and You: Key Talents

September 2, 2009

Alright! Yea! *High Five*

Alright! Yea! *High Five*

We find our friend, Elnoriah, playing a nice relaxing game of golf, wait, isn’t he supposed to be killing?…

I hate that frickin’ Priest, always preaching about how being pure and healing others is better then killing. To hell with him, well not really, he is quite a nice person, it is just, he’s been hogging all of the fun. Whatever, a little vacation is always a nice thing to have now and then, right students? Right, nonetheless, you should not be taking a vacation from your studies, you still have much to learn.

We have come pretty far since the start of these lessons back in June, but there is one thing that I would like to dedicate this lecture to, and as you have guessed, Key Talents. No, I am not going to say specific talents for each tree, what I mean are the two/three (or four really) mandatory talents that you should take if you wish to be even a half decent tank. Depending on your spec you will have at least two of the talents that I call “mandatory” in order to tank efficiently, there are two in the Blood tree that quite a few people like to skip over. Either way, you can find each of these in easily reachable spots on each of your three Talent Trees!

Disagree with me all you want, but that guy working his ass off to keep you alive, as well as your raid would thoroughly appreciate if you at least if nothing else used common sense and put a few points in to each of these. Even the best tank needs to max these out for maximum performance.

Anticipation: This talent resides in the Unholy tree and is the third talent to the right on Tier 1 of said tree. In order to max out this talent, or make it so that you can put no more talent points into it, you must put in 5 of your well saved Talent Points ( a.k.a TP). Each point spent increases your chance to dodge by 1%, and with 5 points in the talent you get a free 5% dodge. As you all know, Death Knights are not able to use shields, so blocking is an avoidance we will never be able to use, so we must make due with what we can of Dodge and Parry. 5% is absolutely nothing to scoff at, this is seriously a big difference, you now avoid 5% more attacks, that is like 1/20 attacks as an estimate . Though your job is to protect the party/raid members at all costs, a big part of your job while rating is to do so but allow the Healers to conserve as much Mana as possible.

Like I have said in many previous posts, avoidance is your Third-Most important stat, other then making sure you have 540 Defense Skill and a ton of HP, this 5% is a great boost to make sure that you need not gem for avoidance to get the extra boost. This is a give-me so really there should not be much of a debate over this being a decent/good talent to take as a tank, it’s just 5 talents, what else would you use it on!?



Toughness: Once again, another easy to pick out Tanking talent, just like the rest of our Tanking brethren’s Toughness talents, it increases our Armor Value from items by 10%. To break this down, each and every piece of armor in WoW be it cloth or Lazar armor, has some sort of Armor Value to it, the tanking stat called “Armor” that reduces the damage you take by attacks by some %, yes that is based on your Armor Value of your Armor. Okay, [Elnoriah’s Super Cool Shoulders] give 10,000 armor, with 5/5 TP in Toughness that increases by 10%. So no longer do you get 10,000 Armor Value, you get 11,000 Armor Value. The ideal amount of Damage Reduction % you should see when you hover over your Armor stat, should be at least 60%. The more the merrier, there is no point in this stat where it is not useful anymore, mainly because you do not have a choice to switch out “Armor for Dodge/Parry”.

Either way, damage reduction is something that we want, first of all so that we can take a hit and do our job of surviving to keep the baddies off of the clothies, and secondly so that the Healers do not have to bust some cool downs to keep use alive. Once again straight forward, for any tank that is looking through the talent trees should immediately say, “Damage reduction, hot dog, *click 5 times*!”

Just a special note to all of you PvPers, this is not a bad talent to pick up then either, the movement speed reduction is nice for those times when you get hit by a Hamstring or slowed by an enemy. And the armor is not a bad thing to grab either, less damage taken is more survivability!

Blade Barrier: This one is definitely debated among many, for there are numerous amounts of  Tanks that can do their job fine without it. Personally though, I would put this as a required talent for a few reasons. First of all it unlocks the second Tier of Blood which is something I love to dive straight into, but mostly for the straight up delicious damage reduction. Like the rest of the Tanking Talents we have discussed today, this has 5 ranks you can click through, and once again to make maximum usage you should get all 5 of them. Once you have 5/5 you take 5% less damage for 9seconds every time your Blood Runes are on cool down, and as any Death Knight should know, every single rune should be on cool down after a full rotation of anything. So in theory you should take 5% less damage 99% of the time during any given fight, which as we have seen before is obviously a significant number once you keep stacking the amounts of damage you take during a fight.

Many have shown us that it is easy to Tank without this talent, although I would have to say most of who are Dual Wielding Tanks, so they already have Avoidance up the Whazzhoo, so in theory they generally take not as much damage as a Two Handed Tank. Putting aside the delicious “parry gib” this would be completely true, still though I would put this as one of the Key Talents for a Death Knight Tank.

First time as a guild, 3rd try, *High Fives Gradii*

First time as a guild, 3rd try, *High Fives Gradii*

The Fourth, Kind of: As I said with Blade Barrier, on the first Tier of Blood it is an optional talent that many (mostly DW) Tanks will acquire if they see fit. This next one is more of an option, seeing as you do not need it to tank with, but also because you need 5points in Blood in order to take this talent. So you would have had to take Blade Barrier anyways to get this delicious prize. Yes, I am talking about Bladed Armor! This talent is based off of a Warrior talent, except it has a few more ranks, with 5/5 ranks Bladed Armor can give 5 AP per 180 armor value, and as a Tank you have a lot of armor value. The Warrior equivalent at 3/3 gives 3AP per 108 armor value, so in the end if you do the math, they are generally pretty even with their AP bonuses. Either way, more AP is more Threat in the language of the Tank, so if you took Blade Barrier, why not take 5 more TP’s and hit up extra AP land?

The Lesson: As with any other Tanking Class, even the Death Knights need to have a few certain talents in order to achieve greatness, although we Death Knights definitely have a creative advantage over the rest of them. We get three whole Trees that are each viable to Tank with, where as they each get one. Still, remember each of these talents and spec in them accordingly, and I promise you, it will have been worth your while.

Writer’s Update: Our Podcast will be worked on tomorrow and Friday, and if everything goes accordingly you should expect this deliciousness to be up at least by Friday Night. School as you all know has started up a bit, but hopefully that at least gives me some time to want to sit back and relax to writing a bit more. Anyways, incoming more Tanking, and hopefully some Healing posts. Happy WoWing!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alex permalink
    September 3, 2009 12:50 AM

    Diminishing returns have nothing to do with dodge in practice… Fucking n00b.

    Diminishing returns affect how quickly avoidance stats stop being desirable. 1 dodge rating might be worth 5% of dodge, but 100 dodge rating might be worth only 8%.

    Fucking n00b.

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