Skip to Content

WoW Insider has the latest on the Mists of Pandaria!

Posts with tag death-knight-tanks

Lichborne: Switching to tanking at expansion's end

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.

I've been doing tanking of some sort of most of my WoW life. Almost as soon as feral druids were viable tanks, I've been tanking dungeons, including a long stint as the main tank of one of my guild's old school 10-man runs. When I became a death knight, you can bet I kept up on my tanking gear and my tanking skills, and not just to write this column.

Still, for the past couple of years, I've been solidly DPS for most of my playtime. Still, looking at the end of an expansion with the knowledge we've seen the last announced content patch and have yet to see another expansion announcement, my thoughts turn to tuning up my tank gear and doing a few more tank runs than I'd normally do.

Maybe you're in the same situation. Maybe you want to try tanking as a new experience now that we're in the last part of the expansion. Maybe you need to replace a raid tank who quit until next expansion. Maybe you're a new level 90 death knight who wants to dive into actually dungeon tanking. With that mind, this week we're going to do some quick tips for getting together a tanking spec and gear and trying this out. Note that this isn't meant to be a full guide, rather a quick crash course for dipping your toe into basic end game tanking.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Unholy tanking 101


Welcome to Lichborne, the weekly death knight column. This week, we're refusing to say goodbye to a dying friend.

Unholy tanking is both a unique and endangered form of tanking in WoW. Unique, because of Bone Shield, which makes unholy uniquely suited to be an avoidance tank, and endangered, because it's going to go away in Cataclysm. That said, there's still reasons to be an unholy tank, whether it's one last hurrah for your favorite playstyle, wanting to try the playstyle before it goes away or wanting to get used to Bone Shield before it moves over to blood to become a core tanking talent for all tank death knights. Whatever your reason, read on. This guide is meant to provide you with the basic talenting, glyphing and technique for starting out as an unholy tank.

Read more →

Filed under: Death Knight, (Death Knight) Lichborne

Lichborne: Frostwing and Lich King loot for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, your weekly death knight discussion center. This week, your host is playing it cool in more ways than one, what with the test server shakeups to frost DPS.

Before we start into this week's column, I do want to assure any prospective frost DPSers that I fully plan to write a frost DPS 101 guide. In fact, up until a few days ago, I had every intention of writing that as today's column. Then I sat down at the computer on Friday, and we had a nice shiny new PTR with a whole mess of frost DPS buffs. It's probably going to take a bit for us to sort through those buffs, see how they affect speccing and gearing, and whether or not they'll make it live, so for now, we're going to focus on some other topics.

This week, the subject is the loot in the final section of Icecrown Citadel, the Frostwing Halls. There's only a few bosses here, but you'll find some great off-spec pieces, a few best in slots items, and some interesting weapon choices. I'll offer my usual disclaimer here and recommend that you go back and review the opening paragraphs of our Lower Spire loot guide, since it lists some basic stat rundowns and philosophies that you should keep in mind as you read these guides. You may also want to review the stat weights discussed in blood DPS 101 and unholy DPS 101 as you pick out your DPS gear from these pages.

Read more →

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

Lichborne: Plagueworks loot for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, WoW.com's weekly death knight column. This week, your host, Daniel Whitcomb, is busy applying for a slot as one of Arthas' pall bearers. Do you think I should wear the Ebon Blade Tabard or the Argent Crusade Tabard for that?

Good News Everyone! With the Deathbringer down, you don't have to wait for some gnome in a frying pan. The Plagueworks are open, and you can go right in. Before we take a look at the Plagueworks boss loot, you might want to go back and read the opening paragraphs of last week's Lower Spire loot guide. It outlines the basic parameters and stat considerations we death knights use in picking out our best loot. Once you've done that, read on for a look at death knight loot from the Plagueworks wing of Icecrown Citadel.

Read more →

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

Lichborne: Icecrown Citadel - Lower Spire loot for death knights


Welcome to Lichborne, where your host is still figuring out the perfect roleplay celebration macro for when he downs the Lich King -- when he's not writing about death knights, of course.

With Icecrown Citadel now properly breached, hopefully even some of the less uber among us are making our way into the breach to say hello to the father of all death knights, the Lich King himself. Of course, as we start upon the final leg of the journey that started so long ago at Light's Hope Chapel, as we trudge ever closer to our destiny to the fight that will bring our story full circle, that may lead to our damnation or to a brighter new destiny, there's certainly a question that's on everyone's minds: What about the loot?

It's a good question. Let's take a look at the loot from the first few bosses up in the citadel. Before we do, though, it's a good idea to take a quicker refresher course in why we choose what we choose:

Read more →

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

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.

Read more →

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

Observations from running a Naxx-25 PuG


I'm very "up" on PuGs. I started my career as a PuG tank and met a lot of great players that way, many of whom I still raid with today. I've always been a stout supporter of throwing caution to the wind and joining LFG for an afternoon to see where it'll take you; it's been my experience that random players on your realm can and often will surprise you.

Once you master the art of the 5-person PuG, the ultimate risk is a raid PuG. One-shot the instance, or spend the night wiping? You won't know until you try.

I used to run Hyjal PuG's in late Burning Crusade and got to be the person in charge of arranging healers on Anetheron, explaining where to die on Azgalor, and uttering a hollow laugh at suggestions on whether or not Archimonde was in the cards (answer: hell no). I wasn't around for my guild's Naxx run one of these past weeks, and a few guildies were interested in gearing up their alts, so we thought -- PuG a 25-man Naxx? Why not?

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Instances, Features, Humor, Raiding, Bosses, Classes

Shifting Perspectives: Tanks, "Wrath," and crushing blows


Every Tuesday, Shifting Perspectives explores issues affecting Druids and those who group with them. This week, we examine the roots of the uproar over the proposed Heart of the Wild nerf, and also ask ourselves if it wouldn't just be easier to reroll a Death Knight and have done with it.

"Why would you title the column this way?" you ask, as you reach for your "Please fire _______ from WoW Insider" form letter. "Crushing blows are out of the game, dipwad."

Well, yes. The crushing blow is technically out of the game, but another and worse mechanic has taken its place.

In this article I'm going to try to explain the source of "shield tank" frustration over health pools -- and why they are correct to see it as a problem -- and the Druid tank's unhappiness over the nerfing of Heart of the Wild -- and why Druids are also correct to see it as a problem.

Why the crushing blow was important

One of the biggest differences between pre-Wrath and Wrath tanking is the absence of the crushing blow. If you're unfamiliar with the term, then as a very simple explanation: any given raid boss had a 15% chance per melee hit to perform a 150% damage attack, which was also known as the crushing blow. It was typically a big damage spike and could lead to a wipe on progression content, with healers struggling to compensate in the small window of time before the boss' next attack landed. Burst damage is very unwelcome as it's often the greatest contributing factor to tank death. This is why reaching crit immunity is still so important to all tanks, and why the ability to avoid or absorb crushing blows was a fundamental part of pre-Wrath tanking mechanics.

Read more →

Filed under: Druid, Analysis / Opinion, Expansions, Features, Raiding, Bosses, Classes, (Druid) Shifting Perspectives, Wrath of the Lich King, Achievements

Lichborne: Gearing up to tank Naxxramas

Best Raid Group Ever.
Welcome to Lichborne, The weekly Death Knight column, where your host is recruiting only the most pro critters for his raiding team.

So by now, I'm sure many of you Death Knights have managed to follow our last tanking gear guide and have put together a pretty decent tank set that's gotten them through a few heroics, but now it's time for the next step: Getting ready to tank Naxxramas. You'll find that while a lot of your gear is probably "good enough," you'll still want to look for a few important upgrades to kick you up another notch so you can be at your best coming into Naxxramas to tank. Let's look at a few heroic upgrades that you can grab to be the best tank you can be heading into 10 man Naxxramas content.

Before we start, there's two things you should remember: One, I'm pretty much following the logic I laid down in the Death Knight statistics primer a few weeks back, so if you want to know why I picked a certain item, the answer is probably there, and two, whatever you do, remember to hit 540 defense skill. You'll need that to survive against the bosses.

Read more →

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

Lichborne: Basic defense gearing for the Death Knight tank

Tank Itemization: Yeah, this guy is definitely doing it wrong.
Welcome to another edition of Lichborne, which this week is so epic, so mind-blowing, that we just couldn't release on a lazy day like Sunday, which is why it is a day late. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

So you're level 80 and you want to respec to a tank build and head straight into tanking 5-mans. In order to be the best tank you can be, there's a very definite first step you should take, which we have discussed before, but which bears repeating: Get 540 Defense. This will make you immune to critical strikes from level 83 mobs, making it much easier to heal you in pretty much every situation, and it's really a prerequisite for serious tanking before any other stat.

Unfortunately, Death Knights are at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to getting maximum defense. We don't get to wear shields, block rating gear is right out useless for us, and two-handed weapons aren't itemized for defense. Still, it's possible to hit that magic number, even without dual wielding tanking weapons.

This week's Lichborne is meant to showcase a variety of defensive options for Death Knights that require a minimum of dungeon grinding to get. By picking and choosing from this list, you should be able to get that 540 defense skill cap, and hopefully then be able to tank a few of the more difficult normals and beginning heroic dungeons on your own.

As a reminder, defense skill is not the same as defense rating. Rather, you need defense rating to get defense skill. Specifically, you will need approximately 690 defense rating to gain the 540 defense skill you need to gain critical strike immunity against level 83 mobs.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guides, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, (Death Knight) Lichborne

WoW Insider Show 

Subscribe via  iTunes for our latest show.

Hot Topics


 

Upcoming Events


Around Azeroth

Around Azeroth

Featured Galleries

It came from the Blog: Occupy Orgrimmar
Midsummer Flamefest 2013
Running of the Orphans 2013
World of Warcraft Tattoos
HearthStone Sample Cards
HearthStone Concept Art
Yaks
It came from the Blog: Lunar Lunacy 2013
Art of Blizzard Gallery Opening

 

Categories