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The Death Knight Tank and You: 3.3 Vengence Day

December 10, 2009

Elnoriah, Hero of Time, Space, and the like, is at the Ebon hold behind a podium. I guess they left it up to him to rally the forces into battle against the Lich King…

Friends whom I have had the pleasure of Raiding with, enemies whom I’ve had the pleasure of killing, lend me your ears! Today the Lich King opens his doors, and soon we will take Frostmorne and shove it up his ass!

Now is the time to FARM SOME HEROICS!
*room is cleared except for Tanks*

Good, now that we got the DPSers out of the way we can crack down to business, students. First of all, let us take a look at some highlights of the patch notes in order to see what Blizzard decided to change on our abilities. Do remember, I am looking at the changes that will effect Death Knight Tanking as a whole. With that being said, there were actually relatively few changes class wide, and the same goes for Tanking.

Death Knight Tanking Changes

Patch Notes:

  • Taunt Diminishing Returns: We’ve revised the system for diminishing returns on Taunt so that creatures do not become immune to Taunt until after 5 Taunts have landed. The duration of the effect will be reduced by 35% instead of 50% for each taunt landed. In addition, most creatures in the world will not be affected by the Taunt diminishing returns at all. Creatures will only have Taunt diminishing returns if they have been specifically flagged for that behavior based on the design of a given encounter.
  • Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle: There is now a 1-handed version of this rune in addition to the current 2-handed rune.
  • Rune Strike: Threat generated by this ability increased by approximately 17%

As I said, there were relatively few changes to begin with, which means that we are practically balanced. Actually if I may be so bold as to say- we were one of the classes with the least amount of change.

Starting with the Taunt change, this is not Death Knight specific, but a change for all of the Tanks in the game. However, it does affect us (as well as the rest of the Tanks) heavily. Before, remember, after 5 Taunts from you or any other Tank in the Raid a boss would be immune to any Taunt spell (Death Grip/Dark Command). Now, however only specific encounters will have Taunt diminishing returns. Before, let us say we were engaged in Gormok the Impaler from ToC, we have 2 Tanks (you and another). Your off Tank has 3 stacks of impale, so you Taunt off of him, however, there is one problem. Gormok is immune to your Dark Command! Why!?
Taunt diminishing returns: each Taunt that is used on a boss (pre 3.3) would reduce the effectiveness of the next taunt by 50% until around 5 taunts in which it would be completely immune for a set amount of time. Now, however it will take much longer for a boss to become immune to taunts due to the fact that the effectivness is lowered by 35% rather than 50% on the set bosses. Simple, eh?

Let us take the new Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle, this is 1 handed specific Rune meaning that instead of just Rune of Swordbreaking you will be able to attach a 1h version of RotSG. Each rune is about half the strength of its 2h cousin, meaning that if you put 2 Runes on each of your 1H weapons you will get the effects of a full-blown RotSG. Basically, the DW Tanks do not have to balance Defense so frugally, they now have the ability to get 25 full points of Defense skill, rather than having to make up for it in gems and enchantments. Very nice, very nice indeed!

However, the best early Christmas present that Blizzard could give to a Death Knight class was saved for last- 17% more Threat generated by Rune Strike. Rune Strike to a Death Knight Tank is like the peanut butter on a PB&J sandwich, you have to have it because it is so damn good! Before 3.3 however, it was like chunky peanut butter, it is still peanut butter, but it sure as hell isn’t smooth! Now, we pull MUCH more TPS thanks to Blizz buffing our #1 Threat-generating ability. Very, very nice.

Do note: Unholy has possibly changed in terms of Threat generation due to the changes in Scourge Strike being improved!

I'mmah comin for you Arthas!

Purchasable Gear

Emblems of Frost: Because of course, there is a new Raid (Ice Crown Citadel) there will be  a new tier of Gear. As is usual with every other release of new tiers of gear, there are new emblems to collect to acquire the new gear. From the badge vendors you can buy new items ranging from the new Ilvls of gear (251 and 264), said gear can only be bought by using Emblems of Frost. I have my eyes on the new Cloak and Trinket, both are tailored directly to a Death Knight Tank’s needs, and as a bonus the cloak has a gem slot!

The emblems will only be acquired from the new Raid, daily Random Heroic, the chain quest through the 3 new Heroics, and of course the Weekly Raid. That being said, do your dailies and get some of this REALLY nice gear!

Reputation: The new faction which combines the Argent Crusade and the Knights of the Ebon blade, Ashen Verdict, presents us with a new Ring, as well as plans for your trade skills. The ring can be purchased once you get Friendly and/or Honored reputation. Rep can only be received by doing the Raid itself, and only by kiling mobs/bosses inside of the Ice Crown Citadel! Easy way to put something on your finger that is stylish AND deadly, eh?

To Be Continued?

As Aifel and I progress through 3.3 we will be sure to post new guides, and straegys to the new bosses that the patch provides. So for now, this is the only scrap of information that I can confidently give you as a Tank. So start farming some Heroics and take a whack at the 4 available bosses in the Ice Crown Citadel!

Oh yes, and I am back for good (hopefully). Real life has not completely cleared up, but this “old man” is back for quite awhile! Cheers friends!

Happy WoWing

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