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The Death Knight Tank and You: The Deliciousness that is T10

January 28, 2010

We find our hero laughing as he smacks Precious in the face. Animal abuse only counts if you attack first, right?…

For my students who have been storming the halls of the Icecrown Citadel in hopes of defeating Arthas in the (somewhat?) near future this information will come in handy. Even if you are not currently in ICC this may help you figure out your wishlists for when/if you get enough Emblems of Frost to pick up some of the T10 gear.

Before we delve into the T10 gear and the recent changes in the upcoming patch on the 2nd of Febuary, let us review how to get Emblems of Frost.

How do I shot- Emblems of Frost?

The first way to get yourself some Emblems is to do at least 1 random Heroic every day. The very first randomly selected Heroic per character each day will reward you 2 Frosts when the instance is completed. This does not mean that you must clear everything, but you must down the last encounter to receive your Frosts.

Once per week (because the “glitch” of being able to do it 2x each week was fixed) you will be able to gain 5x EoF (Emblem of Frost) and 5x EoT (Emblem of Triumph) by defeating a randomly generated Raid Boss. This can come from practically any WOTLK Raid that is out at this time. For the most part however, the quests require you to kill bosses that are fairly early in the Raids. Do note that you will be able to complete the quest on EITHER the 25m or the 10m encounter.

Lastly, you are able to gain EoFs by defeating the bosses in ICC 10/25. You gain 2 EoFs per boss kill in either mode. By doing the math, and assuming that you can down all content at this time you will be able to get 18 EoFs per Raid. The math of course is 2 x (4 + 3 + 2), and more bosses are still yet to be released at this point and time.

Now if you are fortunate enough to be able to clear both 10 and 25m ICC you can earn yourself 36 EoFs per week!

Now if we take the maximum amount of EoFs you may earn every week (as of 1/27/10) we get a grand total of 55!
36 (10/25m downed) + 14 (Heroics every day) + 5 (Weekly) = 55

Delicious? I think so, but it is much more of a pain in the ass than I make it out to be in a simple equation. The bosses in ICC although, relatively simple sounding, do need a bit of coordination and skill amongst the Raiders. Something that most people have not been doing since ToC came out. Alright, fine, you ToGCers have skill.

Shut up Munchy!

“Bitch… your Raid… BOWED to me… last night…”
So? You keep a few kinetic balls in the air!
“Yeap… now make… me a sammich…”

The lack of spikes saddens me, but the purple is alright.

Teir 10 and Desired Goodies

The way Tier gear works it that there is a specific set of gear that is unique to each class. The sets of gear are itemized for a specific role of playing, so Death Knights will have 2 sets of gear: one for Tanking and the other for DPSing. OBVIOUSLY we will be picking the Tank set, and if you can not tell the difference between the two just look for the one with a fuck-ton of Stamina and Avoidance stats.

There are actually 3 different “levels” of Tier, and each works off of the previous level. Basically, you must spend a LOT of badges getting one piece of Tier gear. This is the equivalent to any piece of gear in ICC 10m and is a contributor to the Tier 2/4 set bonuses. In order to get the next ilvl of T10 you must recieve a Vanquisher’s Mark of Santification from Prof. Putricide, Blood Queen Lana’thel, Death Bringer Saurfang, or Sindragosa in their respective 25m encounters. From there you are able to upgrade to the 25m version of T10 in exchange for any T10 item you HAVE WITH YOU.

Now, to get the Heroic 25m versions of the T10 you must get one of the Heroic Marks from their respective bosses. This is not even doable yet so hold your horses Tex! Regardless, this works basically the same way as TOC did, except you do not need to gain new EOF’s to buy higher ilvl Teir Gear.

Death Knight Tank Tier Gear
The T10 pieces shown below require EOFs, so they are the entry-level T10 not the 25m equivalents!

Scourgelord Handguards x60 EOFs
Scourgelord Faceguard x95 EOFs
Scourgelord Chestguard x95 EOFs
Scourgelord Pauldrons x60 EOFs
Scourgelord Legguards x95 EOFs

In order to purchase all 5 of these FABULOUS Prizes one must get 405 EOFs. In all honesty, they are all very nice pieces of gear, but I would only recommend getting 4 total. This is because you only need 4 pieces to activate all the set bonuses! For the other piece just get a piece of gear from any of the Raids that’s non-tier.

Now, when purchasing T10 there are a few strategies to remember. Your first priority is to gear for what you need the most, and generally this is survivability gear, not Threat. If you are going to lose 5 expertise but gain a hell of a lot of survivability (Stam/Avoidance/Armor) then I would most-likely go for the survivability.

Another thought is to get either the most expensive, or most inexpensive gear first. This will make gearing either easier in the beginning or easier in the end. I tend to like to get the least expensive first so you can get the most out of the gear right when you need it! On the other hand, swapping out your worst pieces prior to the best pieces is probably the route most of us will desire to go by. I have no intentions of swapping out my ilvl 245’s BEFORE my ilvl 232’s, that would just be a bad move on my part!

With that said and done, let us move on to the other goodies that EOFs can buy for us, which are also full of Tanking Win!

This be my possy, don't screw with us.

Non set T10

The following pieces of gear are purchased with EOFs and are the equivalent of ICC 25m gear (ilvl 264) so think of them as T10 gear “equivalent”.

Corroded Skeleton Key – This will have all Blood Tanks squealing in glee, and will definitely get a few looks of “Christmas Joy” out of the Frosties/Unholy Tanks in the audience as well. It has 226 Stamina on equip and an O.K. Use Effect of absorbing 3200 Damage for 20 seconds every 2 minutes. This is roughly 2395 HP ( A bit higher for Blood, around 2463 I think) which is a HUGE increase over what you are most likely using, except for Juggernaut’s Vitality in which case it is a minor increase. Regardless, if this is your “only” or one of the 2 Stam Trinkets you will be using on a regular basis, expect to see a severe HP increase at the cost of 60 EoFs.

Sigil of the Bone Gryphon – This Sigil, although shiny it is, is certainly not as great of a Sigil as you would make it out to be. By all means it is a good Sigil, but I do not believe it to be worth the 30 EOFs now. Notice Sigil of Insolence last tier’s Sigil purchasable for 25 Triumphs this has a chance to grant you 200 Dodge every time you Rune Strike (very often) and will refresh with each successful application. Generally this is almost always up. Now compare the 200 “theoretically constant” Dodge Rating compared to the 220 Dodge after 5 Rune Strikes. Sure, you will always have 220 Dodge, but it could take a bit of time before you get all of your stacks of 44 x 5 Dodge up.

This being said, it’s a great Sigil, but until you really do not need much (or anything) from the EOF vendors I really would shy away from this Sigil and just keep for your old one at this time period. Disagree with me all you want, it is merely a suggestion, but I have not been crippled because I have not switched yet!

Sentinel’s Winter Cloak – Two words- Holy… SHITTHISISAWESOME! Cloaks seem to be a fairly rare piece of equipment in the game, and honestly before I got this I was still wearing a piece of  the Emblem of Valor gear. This delicious piece of deliciousness grants you a bag full o’ bricks ton of Armor, a Gem socket, and some pretty bad ass stats to top it all off. Get this, smother it with all of your unending love, and thank me later. Just to make you piss yourself with joy even more, this is ONLY 50 EOFs meaning it is the least expensive piece of gear aside from the Sigil. (Shut up, Wands/Totems/Librams/Relics do not count!)

Verdigris Chain Belt – Alright, as you can see the list just keeps getting more and more amazing as time goes on. This belt is just plain made of win. With 2 Gem sockets and a metric-fuck-load of Armor (seeing a pattern here?) you will be able to gain a large load of Avoidance out of just this belt. Throw a BS socket on that baby and you are ready to Raid!

Now as a disclaimer, if you have a spot in 25m ICC and can easily down Festergut you may want to take a gander at the Belt of Broken Bones. This basically trades out the extra armor from the EOF gear for 55 Dodge Rating. Now it is debatable which one is actually “better”, but from my standpoint this one could be free and the other could cost you a piece of T10 gear (currency-wise). Although with the dodge debuff of -20% Dodge in ICC the EOF gear may actually be more desirable, especially to a Frost Tank!

Gauntlets of the Kraken – Before I completely trail off we have the last piece of gear purchasable for 60 EOFs, the Gauntlets of the Kraken. For a mythical beast it obviously had small hands, although I believe it was tentacles so… REGARDLESS of its origin these are exceptional gloves. These basically trade out the added Hit for the Gloves for Armor, so you will have to make the decision on their worth on your own. Either way, I would stray more towards these unless you seriously need the T10 Gloves for your 4 set bonus.

Understood? Did I ramble too much?
“I would… like to make… a complaint…”

Not you, you damned bastard!
“For our… younger readers… use “darned”…”

!@$@ing censoring board of health not taking the damned walking-corpse away…

Does anyone else not see hands, or is it just me?

I eat your set bonuses, I eat them up!
Before I become border-line annoying with our lesson let us quickly take a look at the set bonuses for our T10 gear. In order to activate and keep these passive bonuses you MUST have the specified  number of T10 pieces equipped. So if you are trying to keep the 4 set bonus and you only have 3 pieces of T10 (any ilvl of course) it will not be active.

T10 2 set: The 2 set bonus is a ripoff of Glyph of Death and Decay in which your DnD spell does 20% more Damage. This is a significant increase for AoE Threat and will certainly be a welcome boost for our AOE Treat for Adds/Heroics. As for information on both Glyph of DnD and the 2 set bonus stacking for a total of 40% more Damage, I am not sure but it would be fairly annoying if this was not true. I have not tried this yet, but I’d put good money on it that the two will be able to stack.

T10 4 set: As is common for the other Tanking Class’ 4 set bonuses, Blizzard took a C/D that we use often, Blood Tap, and put a 12% damage reduction for 10 seconds buff on top of it every time it is used. Yes, we have just gained another OH SHI- button on top of our Death Rune Dispenser! Well played Blizzard, well played.

Great job today class, I expect you all to be here around this time next week! Where the sun is shining and the Tanking is just deathly!

Happy WoWing!

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 21, 2011 4:13 AM

    This is kind of an odd side question: What is the maximum DPS rotation?

    I’ve just been thinking about this as I level as Blood and am not in dire need of the healing from Death Striking. I was guessing it’s the same as the old Blood DPS rotation, using Death Runes for Heart Strike rather than Death Strike (and eyeballing it it seemed like 2x Heart Strikes > 1 Death Strike in terms of raw damage). I figured having this knowledge it may be situationally relevant when you aren’t in need of the healing while not actively tanking, although obviously it’s not exactly a big deal what your tank DPS is.

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