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Posts with tag death-knight-tank

Lichborne: The hidden skills of of the tank

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.

DPS guides are usually pretty straightforward. You have your damage rotation, your stat priorities for gear, and maybe an extra section with some tips on using some of your more esoteric abilities. Tank guides get a little bit more slippery, though. Sure, you can cover some of the same stuff you cover in a DPS guide, included stat priorities and tips and tricks for using specific abilities, but a tank will operate on a different level. They need to know when to use their defensive cool downs. They need to know when specific boss fights may require them to switch up gear. In some cases, they need to know certain intangible things about a boss and about raiding or grouping that it doesn't seem like DPS quite need to deal with. These aren't things that will ever really involve using Death Strike, but they may be just as important to being a successful tank as Death Strike ever will be.

This week, we'll take a look at some of these intangible things and discuss ways to make sure you're on top of them. Most of this will apply primarily to pickup groups, since at the raiding level, it's easier (or at least necessary) to make sure even healers and DPS know this stuff. But if you're in Raid Finder, boy howdy will you want to keep this advice in mind.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Analyzing the proposed patch 4.3 death knight tanking changes

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. This week's header image comes to us from everyone's favorite WoW Insider commenter, Orkchop.

So recently, Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street posted a new Dev Watercooler discussing the ins and outs of the new active mitigation tank philosophy. Since he dedicated a whole section to proposed death knight changes in patch 4.3, I figured it would be a good idea to take a look at the stuff and see what it does.

My preliminary verdict would be pretty simple: It's a pretty big help. It fixes or mitigates a lot of our quality of life issues, it makes a little less squishy, and it nullifies rune tetris nicely. I can't really disagree with the individual changes or the rationale behind them. That said, it doesn't completely solve our problems, and there are probably one or two more little things to be done before stuff looks really good. Let's take a look at the specifics.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: What the patch 4.3 tank changes may mean for death knights

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.

So by now, I'm sure everyone is aware of the huge tanking changes recently announced by Lead Systems Designer Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street. Of course, there are the immediate threat increases, but the really interesting part regards their plans for patch 4.3. They're planning to put all four tanks on active mitigation models, similar to what death knights have currently with Death Strike, which is primarily the focus of today's column.

There's been an uproar from many corners with this announcement, with many tanks declaring that if they wanted to tank like a death knight, they would have rolled one. Funnily enough, many death knights who rolled the class to tank back when they could do it as frost or unholy, or back before Death Strike spam, might protest that they never wanted to tank this way either -- but that's not the point. The point to make here is that active mitigation won't put the other three tanks in the same dire straits as we are, per se. While there are arguments to be made for and against active mitigation in general, active mitigation isn't our only problem, if it's a problem at all. Our problem, among other things, is that we're reactively mitigating.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Ask the Devs Round 9 mitigates your tanking questions

Ask the Devs is back for Round 9, which deals with the most awesome role in WoW ever -- tanking. Of course, coming from a tank, that might be a bit biased -- but deal with it, healers and DPSers. I've got creatures to keep from punching you in your squishy little faces.

Of note this time around is Blizzard's tough time dealing with tanks wanting threat stats (hit and expertise) and the current struggle with making it work. Currently, in cutting-edge content, threat stats are pretty good for initial aggro, but over time, Vengeance does its job admirably and keeps bosses on tanks with relative ease. I think that design decision is hitting the sweet spot, but it begs the question of why even have the threat stats in the first place?

Blizzard also discussed the mastery bonuses for each tank. The devs feel that death knights and druids are doing pretty well, all things considered, and that paladins and warriors have a similar problem in "capping" mastery, but that paladins are more susceptible to problems. There is still the sentiment in the community that Blizzard needs to add its own visual threat meters or some type of aggro status, but there is a reluctance on Blizzard's part to clutter up its own default UI -- understandable, but this may potentially be a part of Blizzard's forthcoming (but not discussed) "how to tank" solution.

Buried in this discussion, however, was a little tidbit about patch 4.3. Blizzard states that the design for the patch 4.2 legendary, Dragonwrath, has wide appeal to a number of staff-wielding ranged DPS classes. However, it then mentions the "patch 4.3 legendary" and its more narrow appeal. Will we be seeing a tanking legendary in the near future, or potentially another healer item? We do know for sure that it will not be as widespread, class-wise, as Dragonwrath, so we can only sit back and assume. What is interesting, though, is that patch 4.3 also looks to be a raid tier and not a patch 4.1-style dungeon content update. Could patch 4.3 be bringing us the War of the Ancients raid that we have been eagerly anticipating, especially with the return of Nozdormu and his crazy time antics? Only time (heh) will tell.

Also, don't expect a new tanking class any time soon. Hit the jump for the full question and answer session.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Cataclysm

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: Gemming, reforging, and other gear tweaks for blood death knight tanks

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.

Last week, we discussed the basics of death knight tanking, including finding your perfect spec and figuring out which stats to aim for. This week, we're taking it one step further. Once you're all geared up, you need to put the finishing touches on your gear. Today, we'll look at how you can use gems, reforging, and enchants to bump your tank gear up to the next level.

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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 tank pre-raid gear guide


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

So a few editions of Lichborne ago, we talked a bit about stat priorities for death knight tanks. Because of that, I probably won't go over it much more before we head into this week's gear guide, but I did want to give you a quick refresher course. Let's run it down one more time:
  • Stamina is still king, but not as much as it was in previous expansions. You may find that there comes a time when more avoidance or absorption is better than a higher health pool, as the extremely high health pools and new boss design philosophies of Cataclysm mean, for now, that you'll rarely die from a couple hits.
  • In the mastery vs. avoidance struggle, you'll essentially need to experiment to find your best balance. Which stat is best for which tank will depend on personal playstyle and competency, healer and raid competency and composition, and other factors. You should take a balance of each, but where that balancing point is will vary. Recall that Death Strike is getting a slight nerf in patch 4.0.6, which will in turn nudge the balance more toward avoidance for most people.
  • When gearing for avoidance, try to keep dodge and parry percentages as close to each as possible, as they have the same diminishing returns. This means you'll always want to raise the one that's lower for optimal effect. You can do this by regemming and reforging instead of regearing in many cases, especially now that solid gems in every slot isn't 100% mandatory.
  • Hit and expertise are not as mandatory as they are for most DPS, but you may find they help you with threat. That said, you should never go beyond 8% hit rating and 26 expertise. If you're mastery-heavy, you'll want to focus a bit more on these stats, as missing a Death Strike could prove catastrophic.
With all this in mind, let's take a look at some of the stuff you should be rooting up as you prepare to tank the first tier of Cataclysm raiding. Note that while some ilevel 333 items may be decent stopgap options for a raider with an experienced raid group that doesn't mind a bit of undergearing, I've left them off this list, and you really should just try for the higher-level options. Finally, don't feel too guilty if you can't afford some of the crafted or world drop BoEs on this guide. Most raid groups probably won't hold it against you, and in some cases, they're arguably inferior to or only marginally better than BoP drops anyway.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The great death knight Cataclysm tanking stat weight debate


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

So here's the thing about figuring out your tank stat weights as you go into raiding: They're all subjective and likely to stay that way for a while. Between Blizzard's redesign of the way stats work, the way boss fights work and the newness of expansion, we're still trying to get the data we need to figure out the best exact way to min-max our gear. Right now, there are a few specific schools of thought on how to gear yourself for raid tanking, and right now, they all seem to be working for specific raid groups. Today, we'll take a look at the major tank survival stats and discuss the new quirks, benefits, and drawbacks of each of them as you start gearing up in earnest for the raid game.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Pre-heroic gear for death knight tanks


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights. Join World of Warcraft's first hero class as we head into a new expansion and shed the new kid on the block label.

So here it is. You're itching to get geared up, but you're looking at long dungeon queues and difficult dungeons that are much less forgiving to the type of zerging playstyle that marked the last few patches of the Wrath era. How do you get ahead and get geared? The temptation of tanking is strong. Your queue time drops to almost zero, and you have at least some amount of innate control over what happens in a dungeon, as most people expect the tank to give orders and set the pace when dungeon diving.

That said, it also has its trials. There will be DPSers who don't listen, refuse to cast crowd control, and refuse to attack your target, instead constantly pulling aggro. There will be healers who space out while you die or who just plain can't heal you in the first place. That said, if you feel like the benefits outweigh the prospective heartburn, you'll want to read today's Lichborne. This week, we're helping you get the gear you'll need to give yourself a leg up as you lead the way into the heroic dungeons of the Cataclysm era.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: The lowdown on diseaseless blood tanking


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

With everyone getting used to blood being the sole tanking tree, combined with all the new tanking style changes already here in patch 4.0.1 (and more to come in Cataclysm), we've been working at crunching numbers and figuring out strategies to deal with it all. One of the most interesting new paradigms to come out of this is actually a pretty old one: diseaseless blood. Diseaseless blood DPS did rear its head every once in a while back in the Wrath era, and now it's back for tanking. At both the heroic dungeon and raid levels, death knight tanks all over WoW are reporting diseaseless tanking as a superior playstyle in ease of use, survivability and threat generation.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Death knight talents, specs and rotations for patch 4.0.1


Every week, WoW Insider brings you Lichborne for blood, frost, and unholy death knights.

By the time you read this, there's a pretty high chance that patch 4.0.1 will be on the live servers. If it's not, it's probably coming next week. Either way, that says to me that it's time to finalize your spec choices and get your rotations figured out. We talked pretty extensively a couple of weeks back about patch 4.0.1 changes in general, but now we'll get down to specifics, going through each tree and checking out some general talent spec and rotation advice to help you start WoW's newest era off on the right foot.

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Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

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