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Posts with tag blood-tanking

Lichborne: Switching death knight specs for patch 5.2

Lichborne Switching specs for patch 52
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

When a new patch comes, especially one with some major class changes like patch 5.2, it becomes a good time to reflect on your play style and priorities. Does your spec serve those priorities? With a new patch coming, it's a good time to experiment with new stuff. You can do it pretty easily on the PTR, and when the patch goes live, the game's got some fresh new content, so it's as good excuse as any to jump into a new spec and get used to it while killing trolls for all these new quests. You'll also be getting new gear, so changing up gearing priorities becomes easier.

Today, we'll take a quick look at all the death knight specs, with some of their pros and cons, so you can make a solid judgment call as to whether to switch and try something new, or stick with the familiar. This isn't meant to a complete guide to playing each spec, just a quick overview so you can decide if the play style and responsibilities of the spec are right for you.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: What do I do at level 90? And 2 other burning death knight questions

Lichborne 3 common death knight questions
Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Reading a guide is all well and good, but sometimes, even after you read, you still have questions or need clarification. This week, I've taken 3 questions I see death knights ask a lot at various places around the web, and provide some advice and clarification.

Why don't tanks need so much hit and expertise?

If you've been reading the column, you've probably noticed that I have de-emphasized hit and expertise when discussing blood death knight tank gear and strategy. This is for a very good reason. Certainly, active tanking is the rule of the day in Mists, which means in theory that tanks should want hit and expertise so their abilities land. In theory, if your Death Strike doesn't land, you don't get the healing or the blood shield, right?

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The state of the patch 4.2 death knight

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

Now that patch 4.2 has been out for a few weeks, it's a good time to look at the fruits of our nerfs. Patch 4.2 saw a surprising amount of death knight changes, from the nerfing of Obliterate to the last-minute buffing of Unholy Might. Nearly as conspicuous was the near complete lack of blood tanking changes.

With all of this in play, we definitely expected some shakeups when patch 4.2 went live; now, it's time to take a look at how those shakeups have played out. Most stuff went more or less as expected, but there have been a few surprising twists. We'll tackle it all after the break.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: More blood tanking questions answered

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

With the new patch 4.1 Call to Arms feature likely to be stuck near permanently on tanking, death knights are going to find themselves with a pretty nice little incentive to stay in their blood spec a bit more often. With that in mind, it's pretty lucky that we just finished going over the basics of blood tanking and gear tweaks for blood tanks. Considering that's still the hot topic, though, and that we're likely to see a surge in death knight tanks looking for that Call to Arms bonus in patch 4.1, I want to take one more week to keep on this whole tank thing and answer some of the questions I've seen floating around, both here and elsewhere.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Blood Death Knight Tanking 101

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. In the post-Cataclysm era, death knights are no longer the new kids on the block. Let's show the other classes how a hero class gets things done.

A lot has changed since the last we did a Blood Tanking 101 article. There's only one tanking tree for death knights now; you don't need to worry about defense rating; and parry haste is a thing of the past.

While we have talked about various aspects of Cataclysm blood tanking in past columns, this column is meant to be your one-stop shop for all things blood tanking, to give you a general idea of what you'll need to do to start seriously tanking at the heroic dungeon and raid level as a death knight.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight beta diaries, part 3: Blood leveling in Vashj'ir


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly source for news, guides, tips and opinions on the death knight class.

As things currently stand in Cataclysm, much of the death knight's famous ability to take tons of punishment and get health back, even in DPS mode, has been removed with the removal of health stealing from the main DPS presence. Unholy and frost death knights will find themselves resorting to using the less damaging (for them) Death Strike while leveling to stay alive and lessen downtime.

Of course, there is one spec that still maintains much of the health-stealing power of our Wrath heyday: blood.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne, Cataclysm

Lichborne: The new blood tree in Cataclysm

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column for the class undergoing some pretty cataclysmic changes to its setup and philosophy in the new expansion.

With the Cataclysm beta out of NDA, we've had a chance to take a look at some of the new death knight changes coming our way. I'm pretty sure (and hopeful) that they're not complete yet, but there's enough of it done that we have a relatively good chance of figuring out where it's going. We'll start our more in depth look into the new sole tanking tree of the death knight class, blood. Blood is shaping up to a very interesting tanking tree. If there's one way I can sum it up, it's this: For all that Blizzard's said they want to move away from the "AoE everything down" model, it's interesting that they've done a lot of work to shore up blood's AoE talents.

Let's take a look at some of the ways blood is changing in Cataclysm.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Glyphs, gems and enchants for the blood tank

Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly peek into the latest news, tips and strategies for the death knight class.

Last week, we went into the basic outlines of what makes a blood tank: your talent choices, your gearing choices, your threat rotations and things such as that. Once you've got all that down, though, the next thing you can do to take your tanking to the next level is to get some decent gems, glyphs and enchantments. They'll separate an adequate 5-man tank from a tank who's ready to step on and start taking on the game in earnest.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Blood tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly journey into the world of the death knight. This week, we're getting ready for Cataclysm in our own round about way.

While sometimes less considered by the WoW population at large, blood tanking has long been known to serious players and theorycrafters as an incredibly dominant raid tanking spec, thanks to incredibly high health pools. It will also be the sole tanking tree for death knights in Cataclysm. While it is certain that the tree will change extensively under this new system, it is likely to have a lot of the same elements in place that make it distinctively blood tanking, even in the new expansion, so it might not hurt to start practicing with it now.

Whatever your reason for trying blood tanking, this guide is here to help you take the first few steps along that path. Remember as this is a 101 guide, we won't necessarily being doing hardcore theorycrafting, and we may simplify a few basic concepts that can be a bit more nuanced for an experienced, high-end blood tank.

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Filed under: Raiding, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Cataclysm Class Changes: Death knight analysis

I'll be completely honest: If I were to describe the death knight update with three words, it would be these: We need more. PvP-focused death knights will likely be pleased with the new revealed skills, but for PvE death knights, all three hold little to no PvE applicability. The new rune system's original explanation is somewhat convoluted, and while I think I have a handle on it after some extensive testing and theorycrafting, we really can't say much about how well it will work until we know more about how our abilities will be rebalanced. The talent discussion mostly focused on telling us what we learned a few days ago when we were told blood will be the only tanking tree.

Essentially, given this update, a large part of me wishes they had just held off until the beta. Right now, we just don't have enough information to make anything more than vague educated guesses about how the new rotations and abilities will play off of each other. That said, it's still worth a look at what's going down, so let's start it up and see what we can surmise.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Thoughts on the death knight tanking change

I actually entertained the possibility of blood becoming a solely tanking tree in Cataclysm about a month back, so I was somewhat pleased and only slightly surprised to see the announcement that that's exactly the route the developers will be taking in Cataclysm. Certainly, there's a bit of bittersweetness and regret to see the great death knight experiment come to an end. But at the same time, it's worthwhile to ask: Is this truly for the good of the game? Is it for the best that we give up some reach and flexibility in return for solid ground and ease of balance? Let's chat a bit.

Why one tank tree?

Balancing death knights has pretty obviously been a constant battle. There's essentially been six different trees to balance for both PvE and PvP, a tall enough order that almost every major patch has included a large handful of death knight tweaks. Not only did the devs have find a niche for dual wielding, but they had to balance tank talents against PvE talents on the off chance that the interaction would overbalance or underbalance a certain spec in the right combination. They had to squelch diseaseless specs and one-button DPS specs, and Unholy alone took them until Patch 3.3 to get to some semblance of balance.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Cataclysm

Lichborne: A death knight primer for tanking 5-man dungeons

Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, your host is in a bit of a tanking mood. Those Emblems of Frost don't earn themselves!
So when the Dungeon Finder came out, it was pretty cool even for DPS. A 10 minute wait for a DPS slot for a 5-man dungeon is pretty insanely awesome. If nothing else, it was certainly faster than the old way of sitting in Dalaran for 2 hours picking your nose and watching the LFG channel.

Now that the dungeon finder has been around for a while though, things are getting a bit stickier for DPS. My server averages around 15-20 minutes for a level 80, and I've heard some battlegroups are up to 30-45 minutes, even at prime time. To make matters worse, tanks and healers can continue to boast instant or near-instant queues almost everywhere, leaving the poor DPS green with envy.

Now technically, this is how it's almost always worked. Tanks and Healers get groups pretty quick, DPS has to wait around. And all told, the dungeon finder system is still pretty cool, and you still get a group faster than the old way. That said, now that we've had a taste of true power, I'm sure we're all loathe to lose it. Luckily, death knights have an out: We can go tank.

Whether you're a DPS DK considering going tank for shorter queue times, or a 5-man DK tank newbie looking to up their game, this column's for you.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Instances, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The Rise of Blood in 3.1


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly Death Knight news and analysis fix.

The Blood tree often gets a bad rap among those not in the know. It's a decent leveling tree, but it's generally considered not to have the tanking power or AoE DPS Potential of Unholy or Frost. By all indications, that has changed in 3.1, especially in the latest patch. Not only have many key Blood talents and skills received key buffs or changes, but the very nature of Armor Penetration has changed, with the 25% benefit buff making Blood's mostly physical damage dealing style well suited to take advantage of the change. This is quite a shift from just before 3.1, when many were afraid disease-less Blood would be wiped out and leave the tree with no viable hassle-free DPS specs.

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Talents, Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death Knight Tanking


Welcome to the first post-Wrath installment of Lichborne, the weekly Death Knight column. Join Daniel Whitcomb on the bleeding edge of a new and untried class.

So Wrath is upon us, and we can finally start leveling our Death Knights on the live servers. That's right, this time it's for keeps. I'm pretty excited about that. One thing, though, that I haven't gotten to do yet on live servers is tank a dungeon. It's not that I don't want to, it's that 98% of the people leveling through Outland right now are Death Knights, so finding a healer is a bit difficult. Still, I did my fair share of tanking on Beta servers, and I played a Druid tank for years, and I'm figuring I'll do my fair share of tanking again at 80. Thus, I decided that this week is the perfect time to start getting ready to tank, even if Utgarde may be the first instance most Death Knights will get a group for.

Let's get down to the basics:

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Filed under: Tips, Raiding, Bosses, Guides, Talents, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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