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  1. #1

    Low level DK tanking

    I searched and searched for a previous thread as this seems like something someone would have asked about before... Sorry if it's a duplicate and I just didn't search for the right thing.

    I recently rolled a DK with the intention of it being my "main alt" if that makes any sense (main is a mage). Basically I want to learn the DK from a tanking perspective and I want to level mostly in the random dungeon finder. Although there's a lot of info in the sticky, a lot of it is aimed at 80 DKs with not a whole lot of info regarding tank leveling.

    Any random tips would be appreciated. If you don't mind taking a look, here's my toon's armory: http://www.wowarmory.com/character-s...on&cn=Gnemonic

    The build I'm using is with the intention of ending up at the 2H Frost tank spec detailed in the sticky. Eventually changing to blood once my gear is better ..

    I also need specific help with what rotation(s) to start with. Thanks in advance!
    Don't ERP me bro!

  2. #2

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Regardless of what spec you level as, the initial rotation will consist of something like this: Start with death and decay so the trigger-happy dps don't pull right away, put up your diseases on the 1st mob, and hit pestilence to spread them to all the mobs. All your runes will be on CD now so hit frost strike/death coil then howling blast etc etc when it is up. As for spec I have leveled quite a few dks for fun and blood always seems to come out on top for tanking purposes while leveling. Heres why: awesome self heals, decent cds, good threat output, extra hp, also blood will be the only dk tank spec in Cata so might as well get used to playing it =) But yeah as blood I have 20k health on my dk unbuffed at lvl 70 (gg stam gems) and dont really require heals in instances. So I highly recommend it.

  3. #3

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    I'd go for a blood tanking spec tbh. D&D is enough to plaster almost any mobs to yourself without the need of Howling Blast. And blood has increased stamina, superior cooldown and self healing. So you can still solo almost anything since your dmg will be sky high at lower lvl's compared to others :P.
    Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
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    Is he neither able, nor willing?
    Then why call him God.

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  4. #4

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Honestly, your spec is a secondary concern. Your gear will be far more important. I recently leveled a dk to 80 for similar reasons as you. I found in all the outland instances, just going into frost presence and having maybe a couple pieces of defense gear was sufficient. However, as soon as I got to Nexus and UK, it was a different story. I was trying to aoe tank the place like I had done all through outland. It was almost impossible for the healer to keep me up. I then got a friend to make me a full cobalt set, and I was good to go. It made a huge difference.

    There are 18 talent points that are required for any tanking spec. 5/5 in Blade Barrier, 3/3 in Imp Icy Touch, 5/5 in Toughness, and 5/5 in Anticipation. For leveling, everything after that comes down to personal preference. I initially wanted to be a dw frost tank. I really liked the play style, and howling blast is great at holding mobs to you, especially timed with a killing machine proc. I then tried blood, and I noticed some big differences. Because of all the self healing, I noticed my healers didn't have to work as hard. As mentioned before, DnD was more than enough aggro to keep the groups of mobs on me.

    If you don't have dual spec, I would strongly recommend getting pale on a horse in the unholy tree. It makes travel time soooo much faster. Besides, there are a lot of the early unholy talents that are great for tanking. Morbidity makes it so you will almost always have a DnD off of cd in time for the next pull. Virulence is also a great pickup to help landing those icy touches which are your main threat producer.

    If I were leveling a tank dk again, I would spec something like this at your level: http://talent.mmo-champion.com/?deat...ubI,dYfe,12124 Then keep putting points into blood.

    Concerning glyphs, I would recommend using Glyph of Death and Decay, Glyph of Rune Strike, and Glyph of Pestilence as a minor glyph. These two major Glyphs will give you the most threat possible. Glyph of Rune Tap and Glyph of Vampiric Blood are also worth getting if your concerned about survivability. Glyph of Dark Command is great to make sure your taunt never misses, but with good enough threat, you shouldn't have to ever taunt. Glyph of Death Grip is the best if you plan on doing any mob grinding. However, it only resets the cool down on death grip if you actually get the killing blow. So, in instances it isn't as good as it seems.

    I hope I've been helpful. Good luck with your DK.

  5. #5

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabian
    Regardless of what spec you level as, the initial rotation will consist of something like this: Start with death and decay so the trigger-happy dps don't pull right away, put up your diseases on the 1st mob, and hit pestilence to spread them to all the mobs. All your runes will be on CD now so hit frost strike/death coil then howling blast etc etc when it is up. As for spec I have leveled quite a few dks for fun and blood always seems to come out on top for tanking purposes while leveling. Heres why: awesome self heals, decent cds, good threat output, extra hp, also blood will be the only dk tank spec in Cata so might as well get used to playing it =) But yeah as blood I have 20k health on my dk unbuffed at lvl 70 (gg stam gems) and dont really require heals in instances. So I highly recommend it.
    At your level, I wouldn't recommend this, except for the D&D part.

    First, get to 60 before you start tanking. D&D and Howling blast will make your life easy. At your level, start with D&D (you don't need to death grip every pull, its unneccessary btw), then go with a Howling Blast, the mobs are going to die really fast in those BC dungeons, so just frontload your threat and nobody is going to pull from you, after that you can hit a blood boil. With reasonable dps, mobs just won't last long enough for diseases to really do much damage. Also, make sure you get toughness from the frost tree, and once you get past your 51 pts in frost, go for the tank talents in uh and blood trees.

    For glyphs, contrary to what the above poster says, at your level I would recommend the glyphs of howling blast and either D&D or oblit, depending on if your threat is weaker on AoE or single target. Glyph of rune strike is good, but you probably won't have enough avoidance until well into Northrend (imo) to make it significantly better than the other glyphs.

  6. #6

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Im going to speak from experence when I say if your a Dk fresh out of your starting point... You are Not a tank you are a fail.

    My Resto shaman is level 59 now and when I get a random with a Dk tank I end up leaveing after a couple pulls. Its always bad, why...

    You get hit like a truck
    You have no defence stat gear at all
    You probibally dont know how to play your class (maybe not you, but most people)

    >>Edit<< Send me a personal message bro if ya want, I feel like I can help you out with all this considering I have the experence of Healing you and I have a level 80 Dk (frosty tank) aswell
    How can you look down on me? When i've buried you under my feet.

  7. #7
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniperhxc
    Im going to speak from experence when I say if your a Dk fresh out of your starting point... You are Not a tank you are a fail.

    My Resto shaman is level 59 now and when I get a random with a Dk tank I end up leaveing after a couple pulls. Its always bad, why...

    You get hit like a truck
    You have no defence stat gear at all
    You probibally dont know how to play your class (maybe not you, but most people)

    >>Edit<< Send me a personal message bro if ya want, I feel like I can help you out with all this considering I have the experence of Healing you and I have a level 80 Dk (frosty tank) aswell
    DKs don't need tanking gear to start tanking. No class does. That's a silly comment.

    The reason why you don't want a DK tank that is level 58 / 59 is because DKs don't get their primary AOE tanking spells until level 60 (Death and Decay for Blood / Unholy or Howling Blast for Frost).

    But back to the gear, I have now leveled 4 tanks. Not a single one of them has used tanking gear until Northrend. You don't need it. At all. Not even a little bit. Of course, I gemmed my Outland blues with cheap stam gems but even that is not necessary. I did use tank gear on my DK once I hit Northrend but that's only because, unlike warrior / paladin / druid, DKs don't have any resource issues when they aren't taking damage.

  8. #8

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    It is interesting that you guys are saying level blood spec... I was in the same boat, I have a prot warrior, and I figured "lets check out DK tanking". Since I learned the hard way on my prot that even the classic and TBC instances are AoE fests, I wanted the DK spec that had the "best" AoE. From what I was reading, it was Unholy all the way. On the other hand, when I say this people scoff at unholy tanks. Is it simply not viable to tank from 60-->80 as unholy spec? (no heroics, just regulars)? I level to 60, and made an Unholy spec but I haven't tried tanking yet.

  9. #9
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Woah, who told you to spec Unholy for AOE tanking? Frost is the spec for that. Howling Blast is tremendous snap AOE threat, and a few blood boils after just cement those mobs onto you.

    I wouldn't level a DK tank as blood, I'd do it as Frost. Well, I just did it that way actually. I'm blood now that I'm tanking raids, but Frost is how I leveled.

  10. #10

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    In my experience leveling alts, Frost is the only spec that works great. HB>DnD>BB>dead guys. But please PLEASE, if you go frost do NOT pull with IT or DG, pull with HB. You seriously gimp your DPS ability to go all out with AOE if you pull with anything but HB. Also, if you HB>DnD then the Mage/Hunter/Lock can put Rain of Fire/Blizzard/Volly on your DnD and not worry about anything. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Tr
    i was like yeah, and then noticed this thread sucked* :

    i was like yeah, and then noticed your post was not constructive in any way.
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  11. #11

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    This has been EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you guys VERY much.
    Don't ERP me bro!

  12. #12
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by akribath
    In my experience leveling alts, Frost is the only spec that works great. HB>DnD>BB>dead guys. But please PLEASE, if you go frost do NOT pull with IT or DG, pull with HB. You seriously gimp your DPS ability to go all out with AOE if you pull with anything but HB. Also, if you HB>DnD then the Mage/Hunter/Lock can put Rain of Fire/Blizzard/Volly on your DnD and not worry about anything. :-)
    Woah woah woah, don't use DnD as Frost. Or at least, don't use it very often.

    Your rotation should be HB -> BB -> BB -> tab Frost Strikes

    DnD eats up all your runes and is totally unnecessary.

  13. #13
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    I'm fairly sure this has been mentioned many times so far - Frost is indeed the AoE tanking spec for dungeons and trash in general, however, I would strongly suggest you use a Blood spec until 80 at the very least, if not until you get full emblem gear.

    Why? Because that little healing may help tremendously since you can time them to get a heal that will save your behind, and this still holds true for myself (in HoR HC / PuG raids and the likes). Of course, this mainly depends on the quality of healers on your battlegroup.

    Regarding Blood's AoE tanking abilities, I don't think you'll have trouble, again based on the average quality of dps until level 80. This may change when into your first heroics with trigger-happy ICC geared people (unlikely but daaayum 12k dps fury warriors are a b**ch to tank in emblem gear). If you do come across such people then they will either be happy to slow down if you mention nicely that you're on a lower tier of gear or they will acknowledge that it's their problem if they overaggro.

    And just in case it hasn't been mentioned - DnD does a good amount of threat, make sure you use it as often as you can as Blood (altough DnD-IT-PS-Pest is likely enough, again with average dpsers in mind) and of course, Taunt any mobs that go loose (hopefully no more than 1-2 at a time) and time DS for a little healing / snap aggro.

    TLR - Go Blood just in case you have subpar healers until well into your epics at 80.
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  14. #14

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkforCalde
    Woah woah woah, don't use DnD as Frost. Or at least, don't use it very often.

    Your rotation should be HB -> BB -> BB -> tab Frost Strikes

    DnD eats up all your runes and is totally unnecessary.
    Well, unless you throw in an Oblit/DS (which you shouldn't need the threat or healing on trash pulls, unless you're overpulling) then 2/3 of the runes don't get used at all. I've always found that rotation holds ag extremely well and healing in 5-mans is pretty much a non issue if you're the only one getting hit, and that's coming from all three POVs.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tr
    i was like yeah, and then noticed this thread sucked* :

    i was like yeah, and then noticed your post was not constructive in any way.
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  15. #15
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by akribath
    Well, unless you throw in an Oblit/DS (which you shouldn't need the threat or healing on trash pulls, unless you're overpulling) then 2/3 of the runes don't get used at all. I've always found that rotation holds ag extremely well and healing in 5-mans is pretty much a non issue if you're the only one getting hit, and that's coming from all three POVs.
    Yeah but the rotation I mentioned holds threat just as well if not better.

  16. #16

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    The usual rotation for the DK tank that want quick aggro would look something like IT, IT, BS, BS, PS, PS, IT, IT, IT, IT, PS, PS, RP dump, and so on =)

  17. #17
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharsantra Moonwrath
    The usual rotation for the DK tank that want quick aggro would look something like IT, IT, BS, BS, PS, PS, IT, IT, IT, IT, PS, PS, RP dump, and so on =)
    Don't ever say that again...

  18. #18

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Banez
    Don't ever say that again...
    Have you tried it? I kept aggro on LDW through the whole second phase with a 2h frost spec, spamming nothing but IT.

  19. #19

    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharsantra Moonwrath
    Have you tried it? I kept aggro on LDW through the whole second phase with a 2h frost spec, spamming nothing but IT.
    Icy touch does OP threat now
    Quote Originally Posted by worlddan
    My understanding is that deathwing will erupt from that pool and fly around squeaking, "Runescape! I was in Runescape! How do I get back to Runescape?!!"


  20. #20
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    Re: Low level DK tanking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharsantra Moonwrath
    Have you tried it? I kept aggro on LDW through the whole second phase with a 2h frost spec, spamming nothing but IT.
    Could tank any boss spamming nothing but IT. I've one finger tanked on warrior the same way just spamming Devastate when I'm eating a pizza or something.

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