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The Death Knight Tank and You: How Do You Play!?

October 23, 2009

Oh Im on a ROLL today!

Oh I'm on a ROLL today!

We find our hero polishing his armor in the Ebon Hold. What a damn show-off!…

Yes I missed last week class, but there have been a few Real Life things that came in the way. Luckily it ended in great news! (My mom is rid of the dreaded Cancer, AKA surgery worked!) Regardless, we have a lesson this week, and I do plan on teaching it to you. Dust off those notes, and grab some paper because it is time to learn about how to Tank as a Death Knight.

Around June I started talking a bit about how to build up your Death Knight Tank with Enchantments, Gear, Correct Talents, etc., yet one thing that I have yet to cover is HOW you play a Death Knight Tank. Aside from not being able to wield a shield, the play style of a Death Knight Tank is where you can completely tell the difference between them and the rest of their Tanking Brethren.

You will generally use most of the same abilities as a Tank, as you would a DPS in that spec.

There is no secret to it, DK Tanks do have a rotation, and the only thing that will ever change in said rotation is when a Rune Strike pops up, because you can never be 100% certain when you will avoid an attack. Now how come we would not use some random-ass secret abilities made specifically for Tanks? For a simple answer, merely because we do not have many set-in-stone high threat attacks that only a Death Knight Tank would only use.

Fine Rune Strike, but that really is a give-me!

So, what are the rotations that I will use as a Tank? Maybe they are right, mayhaps they are wrong, but regardless they have yet to fail putting me on the tops of the Threat Meters. Seriously, I have had to just stop hitting a boss so that other Tanks can rip them off of me! Luckily you have caught me in a good mood, I will teach you the Rotations I use to build and keep Threat as a Death Knight Tank!

My newest pupil! No other than, Dylan the Raging Warlock!

My newest pupil! No other than, Dylan the Raging Warlock!

Let us start with Frost, one thing that you will notice immediately with Frost is that I will not even touch Pestilence! Glyph of Howling Blast allows me to spread Frost Fever, the only disease we care deeply about as a Frost Tank, within my HB. This is huge, I can now use a Blood Boil instead of a Pestilence, thus increasing my Threat in a noticeable amount.

Frost (When the weather outside is frightful…)
AOE

HB->BB->BB->OB->FS      Part 1
BB->BB->OB->OB->FS      Repeat until diseases are close to expiring then redo Part 1, rinse and repeat

Obviously Rune Strikes will be popped inside of the rotation at any time possible, I have it key bound to Mouse wheel Down so whenever it procs I can hit it easily. Rime is used when it has a Killing Machine to couple with, although it may be used before then if it has 1-2 sec before expiration and still no Killing Machine proc. This is so I can get a free critical + a free HB at the same time, thus allowing me to continue with Part 2 of my rotation for a longer amount of time.

Single Target

IT->PS->BS->BS->OB->FS            Part 1
OB->OB->OB->FS              Part 2 Repeat until diseases are close to expiring then redo Part 1, rinse and repeat!

The commentary before is still in action here, nothing different happens in terms of when I Rune Strike use it ASAP for maximum winnage! I tend to like to wait 1-2 seconds before I use the FS I mentioned in both of those rotations, generally either to wait for a Killing Machine proc, and just to keep the Threat increasing even after the Runes have been off Cool Down for a bit.

All it needs is a Rain of Fire in the background...

All it needs is a Rain of Fire in the background...

Unholy (I’m a wee bit rusty!)
AoE

DnD->IT->PS->Pest.-> DC        Part 1
BB->BB->SS->SS->DC           Part 2, repeat Part 1 when diseases are about to push the daisies!

As with Frost, I will use Rune Strike at whatever point possible, there really is no strategic use for it, just go! With Death Coil you now should watch to make sure that Unholy Blight is always on your main target, do not let it take precedence over your actual Rune abilities, but keep an eye on it. Do remember to put Bone Shield up at whatever point possible, extra damage reduction is always gets the Elnoriah Stamp of Approval.

Single Target

IT->PS->BS->BS->SS->DC              Part 1
BS->BS->SS->SS->DC               Part 2, once again, switch to Part 1 when your diseases somehow decide to stop being used!

One thing that I have not touched upon yet in the Unholy Rotation is simply the fact that they have a major advantage when it comes to switching their rotations. They can stay in Part 2 for quite a long time due to all of their diseases being constantly renewed due to the awesomeness that is the Glyph of Scourge Strike. Lastly, Rune Strike should always come first in terms of your RP(Runic Power) dump, use DC only when Rune Strike is not available.

Blood (Hey, I’m  a rookie!)
AoE

DND->IT->PS->Pest.->BB->BB->DC  Part 1 Diseases GO!
BB->BB->DS->DS->DC            Part 2, when Diseases are cured by a pill, put them back on with Part 1!

Your main concern here as a Blood Tank is to keep your diseases up, you want your BBs and DSs to HURT, and in order to do so you will need a lot of Runic Power and a load and a half of Diseases up on your targets. Now, if you are only Tanking 2 mobs, you are going to want to replace the BB’s with Heart Strikes, they will do more TPS, but it can only hit 2 targets at a single time.

Single Target

IT->PS->HS->HS->DS->DC     Part 1
HS->HS->DS->DS->DC   Part 2, you know the drill, keep rolling your face on these keys until Diseases run out!

There really is not much to it, just a very strong amount of TPS.  Yes, it is effective and delicious (there I said it class, are you happy now?). Although, this is the easiest rotations of the bunch, but the amount of abilities you need to play with and switch around during the fight can make Blood Tanking fun.

Have a Rotten Halloween!

Have a Rotten Halloween!

Like I said earlier, most of the abilities you will be using as a DPS, you are going to most likely be using as a Tank for that same spec. It really is funny, every other class has more than 1 specific ability set for Tanking, we just have our Rune Strikes, and we can not even count that into a rotation, we just play frickin’ wack-a-mole with it! Funny, eh?

Do remember class, your gear is always important, so aren’t your glyphs and spec, but your rotation is what will make and break you as a Death Knight Tank. If you are just randomly mashing buttons like an imbecile, you are doing it wrong, sure your Frost Fever will not run out, but 6 Icy Touches will not get you the threat you need to keep the boss off of Mr. 3k TPS Lock. (Note: 3k TPS is what they do when they are level 1’s! Seriously!)

Class dismissed, go try some of these out! Hell, even be bold enough to write a comment either critiquing my rotations, or even talking about yours.

Next week’s lesson? Yes there will be one!
“You are the most… idiotic… smart ass… of all time.”

Happy WoWing!
-Eld

P.S. Cranky Munchy is cranky! I put strips of Gnome in his salad; it makes him go nuts!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2009 10:03 AM

    How about sharing your tank spec in frost for us. I am using my unholy spec as DPS, and can kill most non-elites in about 7 seconds. Just picked up dual-talent spec, to make a tank as well out of my DK.

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