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  1. #1
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    Longtime Prot Warrior, totally confused about Blood

    Long story short, I've primarily been shield tanks (Pally/Warrior) and while I do have a DK at 85 I promptly ignored him. I'm tempted to dust him off as it seems like a fun class in all their specs, and a different perspective on tanking. However, I'm pretty clueless about how to correctly play a Blood DK tank.

    I kind of understand the Death Strike healing (I used it once in a while as DPS if I was taking damage) but does this ability get used as a normal attack, as part of the normal rotation/priority system? My understanding is when you use it, you get the Blood Shield absorb thing, so is the idea that you use it before the big attack to get a bubble up, and then use it again after the attack lands to heal yourself back up (and give you another shield)?

    Next, Heart Strike. This move feels like Revenge, but is it used in the same way? If 4+ enemies do you use Heart Strike, or just spam Blood Boil? On that note, Blood Boil is like my Thunderclap? Use to apply debuffs, spam on AOE packs?

    For cooldowns: Always have Bone Shield up before a pull, refresh it during the pull if it falls off? I get AMS (like Pally's Divine Protection) and Icebound Fortitude (like Shield Wall), what about the others? Vampiric Blood looks kinda like Enraged Regen or Last Stand. What about Dancing Rune Weapon? There seems to be more DK cooldowns than one can shake a stick at

    Is there (or could someone give a Cliff Notes type version?) of how the DK abilities compare to others? As I said some make sense and are roughly equivalent to the abilities I know as a Warrior, but some (for instance, Dancing Rune Weapon, Army of the Dead, and some of their weird talents/gimmicks like using Lichborne + Death Coil) make no sense to me.

    I'm pretty confident I could learn how to tank as a DK, just a bit afraid to try it since I've never done it before on one and from what I've always heard DK tanks are very unforgiving, and it's easy for a newbie to screw up badly.
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  2. #2
    The Lightbringer SurrealNight's Avatar
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    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-Tanking-Guide answers most of these questions (including BB vs HS) so I'll just add personal experience. Death Strike is a pretty simple one as you want to use it as much as your runes allow while also timing them relative to missing health for the heal and taking a big enough hit to generate a solid absorb shield. Blood Shield Tracker addon is a must.

    Bone Shield: Up before fight and used more or less on CD.
    Vampiric Blood: On a short CD so you will want to use this frequently but also when you are needing healing. One of my favorite things to do was to use it when taking heavy damage then hit Rune Tap and if Will of the Necropolis ends up proc'ing (drops you < 30%) you would get a second RT at the boosted healing % plus the DR shield.
    Dancing Rune Weapon: Use close to on CD unless you are saving it for a boss mechanic (Baleroc Decimation Blade as example) that is occurring in < 1.5 minutes.

    Army of the Dead: converts Parry+Dodge into straight DR during the channel so it's good for magic (coupled with AMS) or unavoidable heavy melee damage.

    Lichborne/Death Pact: These are self healing CD's, use them when you would use any other self healing CD.

    The four elements, like man alone, are weak. But together they form the strong fifth element: Boron.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurrealNight View Post
    http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...-Tanking-Guide answers most of these questions (including BB vs HS) so I'll just add personal experience. Death Strike is a pretty simple one as you want to use it as much as your runes allow while also timing them relative to missing health for the heal and taking a big enough hit to generate a solid absorb shield. Blood Shield Tracker addon is a must.

    Bone Shield: Up before fight and used more or less on CD.
    Vampiric Blood: On a short CD so you will want to use this frequently but also when you are needing healing. One of my favorite things to do was to use it when taking heavy damage then hit Rune Tap and if Will of the Necropolis ends up proc'ing (drops you < 30%) you would get a second RT at the boosted healing % plus the DR shield.
    Dancing Rune Weapon: Use close to on CD unless you are saving it for a boss mechanic (Baleroc Decimation Blade as example) that is occurring in < 1.5 minutes.

    Army of the Dead: converts Parry+Dodge into straight DR during the channel so it's good for magic (coupled with AMS) or unavoidable heavy melee damage.

    Lichborne/Death Pact: These are self healing CD's, use them when you would use any other self healing CD.
    I want to echo a few of these and throw in some warnings: don't use Bone Shield on cooldown. It no longer has a cost (which is great), but too many DK's don't pay attention to see if they currently have a shield still up and use it early. Using it early can mean less overall damage mitigated (20% damage reduction while up) as you overlap and waste charges.

    As well, I'd macro Death Pact and only raise your ghoul to be used for it.

    I honestly disagree with using DRW on cooldown. Why? Because it's too situational. It provides parry but virtually no other defensive benefit for a loss in two possible RE procs that could mean a heal + shield. I'd use it only if the boss you're fighting is about to deal a lot of hits, quickly, or a large hit you want to try to avoid. That's it. For the most part I think using the RP on RS to proc RE or RC (runic empowerment or runic corruption) is a better bet.



  4. #4
    Banned Ryan Cailan Ebonheart's Avatar
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    Yeah I've had the same problem until I figured out that I'll never be able to tank as Blood. Longtime Prot Warrior that decided to play Blood and couldn't understand it. People keep saying how easy Blood is but I could never understand it. Warriors are so much easier by comparison its a joke. The whole Rune system with Blood is what makes it complex and I think it mostly just comes down to experience on how to handle it mathematically. I never bothered with it, it seemed so restrictive on what to press.

    Now I don't even tank anymore thanks to the active tanking model.

  5. #5
    Moderator Nobleshield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Cailan Ebonheart View Post
    Yeah I've had the same problem until I figured out that I'll never be able to tank as Blood. Longtime Prot Warrior that decided to play Blood and couldn't understand it. People keep saying how easy Blood is but I could never understand it. Warriors are so much easier by comparison its a joke. The whole Rune system with Blood is what makes it complex and I think it mostly just comes down to experience on how to handle it mathematically. I never bothered with it, it seemed so restrictive on what to press.

    Now I don't even tank anymore thanks to the active tanking model.
    I actually like the Warrior active tanking model, just the old Sword+Board is getting a bit old (and my co-tank was a Druid, now a Monk). I only have three high level toons: DK (shelved), Paladin (original main, Prot/Ret) and Warrior (new main, Prot/Arms) and I'll be honest I always thought the flavor and feel of the DK was badass. I never really got the runes, like I know what they do but it seems very complex to do the whole "If FU runes up, use this. If D use that" kind of thing - I know what those mean (F = Frost, U = Unholy, D = Death, etc) but the different combinations make my head spin a little; honestly the one thing I didn't like about WoW in general came in Cata, and that was going to priorities instead of rotations - I could get my head around something simple like A x2, B, C until A is up, but having to look and see "Is A up? Use A. Is B at 5 stacks? Use B. Nothing else? Use C. Interweave D > E > F" gets annoying sometimes.
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  6. #6
    Don't use DRW on CD unless your being pounded in the face by a melee attack for a bit. You can also use it for some burst threat, unfortunately you need to build up Runic power to use it and RP is usually best spent on Rune Strike to allow you more Death Strikes.

    I can't say if blood tanking is more complicated than Warrior tanking. I'm a former paladin tank and while blood took some time to get used to, it wasn't that bad. However I found my paladin tank so mind numbingly easy to play that I was looking for something that would force me to give two shits about what is actually happening during the fight rather than every single encounter being "do your rotation".

    One of the easiest ways to learn blood tanking is try doing some old raids solo. Since most of our cd's involving self healing or boosting healing, they are pretty useful for when you don't have a healer. So find some old content to do that is still fairly difficult and don't be afraid of dying and running back. Naxxx used to be useful for this, i'd recommend the first boss in ICC since Naxxx is probably too easy. PVP is also a pretty useful way to learn how to use your CD's but just be prepared not to be able to kill anything as blood and if anybody knows what they are doing they will kite you to a slow annoying death.

    One thing about the rune system for blood dk's. Is that they don't really matter. Once you play enough you simply get used to the flow and the only time you need to care is making sure you have a DS ready if your going to be taking substantial damage. I've never really had a problem running out of resources simply because my thought process revolves around is rune strike up, hit it, if DS is lit up, hit it unless something bad is going to happen within the next 8 seconds and I don't have ERW. The only time I can remember being frustrated by lack of resources is if there is massive Add flow and you need to spam BB or HS to try and constantly gain aggro. Those moments aren't very often.
    Last edited by hyperionx; 2012-10-04 at 12:10 AM.
    The more of my behavior you accept, the less you will have to forgive.

  7. #7
    As always, the best advice is "keep at it".

    I loved tanking in Cata so I rolled 3 of them (paladin, DK, warrior - in this order). I found that the last class I tried was the harder to learn. So I'm least comfortable with my warrior because I have my mind filled with all sorts of things I can do while tanking as a paladin or DK. Avenger's shield? Nope. Death grip? Nope. Oh wait, I have charge.

    Anyway, DKs are fun tanks; it became my main in MoP because I really dislike the paladin changes they made. Runes are not that hard to keep track of and if you're not doing progression raids or something you should be good enough.

    If you're 85 just do some normal cata instances to get the hang of it. Alternatively, do quests / grind mobs while in blood spec and that should give you a more stable grip of it. You can't be a tank and not tank stuff, even while questing. I go around picking up all the mobs that I can find and then start killing them - even tapped mobs by other players. Most of the time they return the favor of me killing their mob by aoeing the whole pack with me

  8. #8
    For me, I found that prot warriors have sooooo many dps/threat buttons, and barely anything to survive themselves, while DK's are the other way around.

    Basically use all frost and unholy runes on death strikes, blood runes for heart strike or blood boil, and runic power for rune strike. Hit CD's as you see fit and laugh while you top the damage meters in raids >.> Using DRW and ghoul on cd might indeed be worse for survival in some cases, but doing heroics or such its just more dps and you should be able to take that tradeoff.

    I agree with Hyperionx, soloing gives a great feel for how to play blood. Its the reason I started soloing stuff, and I did it after 5.0 to relearn new stuff aswell. Not really sure what you should do at 90 thats challenging enough to make you press buttons though, naxx was good indeed but too easy now. Havnt had time to try anything myself yet, maybe go for Omnitron in BWD. Used to be doable at 85 so I'm sure it is doable now aswell, but might be one of the higher damage ones around for now.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Darsithis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunty View Post
    For me, I found that prot warriors have sooooo many dps/threat buttons, and barely anything to survive themselves, while DK's are the other way around.
    I have 28 keybinds for my DK tank. I have about 18 for my warrior tank. I don't get how they have more keybinds



  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Darsithis View Post
    I have 28 keybinds for my DK tank. I have about 18 for my warrior tank. I don't get how they have more keybinds
    Think he's saying that Warriors have alot of threat buttons and DK's have alot of mitigation buttons, not that either class requires more keybinds than the other.

  11. #11
    With regard to DRW, depending on the progression of your guild, tank dps actually matters now. DRW is the single best tank dps CD in the game. Obviously it's primarily thought of as an avoidance CD, but you should still use this as many times as you can in a given encounter.

    Just use your best judgement and if possible stagger using it for specific mechanics as they may apply, but if you're waiting to use it for when you get trucked, you might find yourself using this only once a fight, and that's a huge waste of dps considering it's on such a short CD. Between things like ghoul sack and lichborne, both of which are on 2 min CDS, we have more than enough emergency CDS and this is one that I prefer to use more for dps than for survivability.

  12. #12
    Brewmaster Playintrafic's Avatar
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    You really need blood shield tracker to determine when it would be most advantageous to deathstrike. DS is best used after taking a big damage spike.

    Heart strike is just a cleave, and filler. But it is our go to filler.

    Blood boil should never be spammed. Use it on proc, when DnD is on cooldown. Or when diseases need to be spread (initial pull) or when diseases are about to drop off your main target.

  13. #13
    If the rune combinations make your head spin, try using a priority addon until you get the right feel for them. I recommend DKOne, you can also try CLC_DK or good ol' CLC_Info.

  14. #14
    Simple flowchart:
    Can you:
    Death Strike? ---yes---> Use it!
    |
    no
    V
    Rune Strike? ---yes----> Use it!
    |
    no
    V
    3+ targets? ---yes---> Blood Boil.
    |
    no
    V
    Heart Strike.
    |
    No runes.
    |
    V
    Horn of Boredom.

    If HP below X% use:
    80% Rune Tap
    70% Vampiric Blood
    40% Icebound Fortitude
    30% Ghoul + Death Pact
    15% Oh god use something!

    This will work at about 80% of your possible efficiency.

    For possible fun:
    Step 1: Find fire.
    Step 2: DRW
    Step 3: Stand in fire.
    Step 4: AMS
    Step 5: spam your infinite RS.
    Call to arms, the trumpets sound
    Hand puppets storm the base, flags up now cannons rage
    All clowns head for the rear, slingshots fire to the air
    Toy horses start the charge, Robot chessmen standing guard
    Crossfire to the marionettes, Slip into the edge of death...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Omertocracy View Post
    Simple flowchart:
    Can you:
    Death Strike? ---yes---> Use it!
    This is likely the most common mistake made by blood dks. Using death strike just because the runes are available is terribly inefficient considering that it's healing is based on the amount of damage we take, and that if you death strike often while your HP is full, all you're doing is giving yourself the minimum absorb possible.

  16. #16
    Mechagnome Mitak's Avatar
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    A little tip. Use DRW for dealing huge damage to AOE packs. Start a fight with a pack, use DRW, then apply both diseases,and spread them to the whole pack. Your DRW will copy your movements and will spread its own 2 diseases, meaning you will have 4 diseases on each mob. If the pack is big, you will do some massive DPS.

    Have fun and dont panic
    The truth may be out there, but the lies are inside your head.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitak View Post
    A little tip. Use DRW for dealing huge damage to AOE packs. Start a fight with a pack, use DRW, then apply both diseases,and spread them to the whole pack. Your DRW will copy your movements and will spread its own 2 diseases, meaning you will have 4 diseases on each mob. If the pack is big, you will do some massive DPS.

    Have fun and dont panic
    Yup, totally awesome. Does DRW copy Unholy Blight aswell, I wonder? Havnt played blood yet in MoP

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitak View Post
    A little tip. Use DRW for dealing huge damage to AOE packs. Start a fight with a pack, use DRW, then apply both diseases,and spread them to the whole pack. Your DRW will copy your movements and will spread its own 2 diseases, meaning you will have 4 diseases on each mob. If the pack is big, you will do some massive DPS.

    Have fun and dont panic
    wow thanks for the tip.

  19. #19
    Field Marshal Halland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omertocracy View Post
    For possible fun:
    Step 1: Find fire.
    Step 2: DRW
    Step 3: Stand in fire.
    Step 4: AMS
    Step 5: spam your infinite RS.
    This made my day.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Playintrafic View Post
    You really need blood shield tracker to determine when it would be most advantageous to deathstrike. DS is best used after taking a big damage spike.

    Heart strike is just a cleave, and filler. But it is our go to filler.

    Blood boil should never be spammed. Use it on proc, when DnD is on cooldown. Or when diseases need to be spread (initial pull) or when diseases are about to drop off your main target.
    Er... use Blood Boil as often as you like with 4+ targets, don't use DnD unless it is on a pull or Crimson Scourge proc, or you're using a death rune on it, i'd rather spend an unholy rune on Death Strike.

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