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5-23-2010 @ 10:51PM
While I'm no healer (I'm actually a former DK raid tank), I think that it is important to know exactly WHICH spec your DK tank currently is; all three DK tank specs take different "styles" of damage.Frost tanks have the best baseline defense due to talents that passively reduce incoming damage. While the talented Icebound Fortitude lasts longer than normal, Unbreakable Armor is comparatively weaker than Bone Shield or Vampiric Blood. You can expect Frost tanks to have much more even physical damage taken due to passive damage reduction talents and higher uptime of damage reduction cooldowns. Blood tanks have the weakest baseline defenses, which equals spikier damage taken. These tanks compensate for this through awesome cooldowns (as mentioned above in the article), and through having the highest baseline HP. Also, Blood tanks with a great threat lead can time Death Strikes and Rune Taps to even out spikey damage. A skilled and geared blood tank can solo most heroic dungeon bosses (i.e. Forgemaster Garfrost, who never fails to kill the rest of my party 50% of the time in the daily heroic dungeon).Unholy tanks are VERY rare. This is because of they have significantly lower threat generation than the other two specs. Their talented defensive cooldown(s) are also VERY unpredictable; Bone Shield is potentially the best or the worst defensive cooldown due to its dependence on the DK's avoidance stats and the whim of the RNG gods (who are known to smile upon the most obnoxious PuGs and ninjas while screwing your buddies out of much-needed drops). Unholy tanks will take less spell damage than the other two specs, but will take ultimately take the spikiest type of damage depending on how fast the DK's Bone Shield charges are eaten up.Finally, there are the incomprehensible specs. These "tanks" will often utilize the "spray n' pray" method when building their talent trees (and gear sets). As a result, these tanks will take LOTS of damage and generate most of their threat through autoattacking. You will often encounter these fine specimens of failure through the random dungeon tool as they queue in the tank role for shorter queue times.
5-23-2010 @ 11:48PM
Man, where were you when I was writing this article? I swear every DK tank I know has some sort of, stoic Cloud Strife thing going; I had to wrestle answers out of them. Your comment was very helpful to me =)Pst! Pst! Healers, read this. ^
5-24-2010 @ 12:00AM
Unholy DK tanks are rare mostly because folks don't know how to tank with Unholy. For now - which will change in Cata, of course - Unholy excels at AoE threat, far beyond the other two specs, IF:1. You have D&D glyphed and2. You take the 2pT10 bonusI've been tanking Unholy since 3.1 and have had no trouble generating or maintaining AoE and single target threat even in ICC. Granted, I've only got 50K HP, but combined with the Frost trinket (Disc-style mini-bubble), I've got 4 major CDs to use:1. T10 Trinket bubble2. Icebound Fortitude3. Anti-magic shell - which is godly in any encounter with debuffs that can fall off, as it's a debuff cleanser if the debuff stops stacking if it stops ticking (like Hodir, Garfrost, etc.)4. Anti-magic zone - your melee will adore you for this on some fightsMy disc priest main healer and I enjoy playing a game on heroics to see if we can chain CDs together and go for 0 damage taken in the daily random emblem run if the DPS is solid. If we can get the boss to last for less than 30 seconds, I come out scratch-free.
5-24-2010 @ 6:48AM
One other key point - it's not a true defensive CD, but in Unholy with 3 diseases up, Death Strike routinely nets me anywhere from 5K - 11K HP (if it crits) per shot. For fights where the healers can be out of commission for a couple of GCDs, Death Strike + 3 diseases can make or break a boss encounter. I've always gotten grateful thanks from my healers after spike-heavy fights for using Death Strike to lighten their load, especially on any fight that's also packing heavy raid-wide damage at the same time.
5-24-2010 @ 12:11AM
http://pwnwear.com is the go-to site for researching DK tanking.
5-24-2010 @ 5:38AM
We need more people like you and fewer like the one my poor level 74 druid got thrown into Azjol-Nerub with.He was specced 0/1/62 (but avoiding Unholy's first tier tanking talent), wearing some items of item level 70 (hello death knight starting zone belt) and several spell power plate items. I actually managed to keep him up for a while through the ungodly amounts of damage he was taking from the mini-Watcher pulls, but would promptly pull aggro with swiftmend crits, leading to ugliness.I mean, I know it's just leveling and people are learning and AN isn't exactly srs bsns, but give me a break :/ I have a 72 DK tank myself and find tanking to be an unparalleled experience of frenzied, panicked button mashing, but at least I know what I'm doing in theory.
5-24-2010 @ 11:26PM
I'd second what cspenn wrote and say that Unholy doesn't have much of a problem with AE threat, even before 2t10. With a few blues, Unholy has a lot of AE threat punch, between a pumped up DnD and more-potent diseases. Single-target threat may well be lower, but the reason they are rare, at least at raid-levels, is probably due mostly lower baseline HP and mitigation than other DKs, and less-useful cooldowns to boot. Anti-magic shell is really cute at times, but not as all-purpose useful as Vampiric Blood.There is one sweet thing about Bone Shield: it can be pre-buffed. The five minute duration means that it can be activated well before a fight, take the edge off of the initial damage, and be ready for use shortly thereafter.
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