1. #1

    Advanced DK Tanking Guide (5.4)

    If you don't find what you need here, you can always ask me anything on twitter @ReniatDK.

    NOTE: while I felt the guide was finished enough to go up, i'm still working on reformatting and making it look as 'pretty' as I can. It is currently very 'wall of text' ish. There are also plenty of misspellings and bad uses of grammar scattered around the guide, and i'm going to continue to fix those as I see them. If you find any errors like those, please send me a pm as opposed to posting about it in the thread. I'd like to not have the first 50 thousand thread posts be about something I misspelled :P

    Also a new version of the simpler guide will be going up to replace the current one.

    This is the advanced DK tanking guide. This is meant to include most of everything I know/use for Death Knight tanking in a top 5 US guild, and while it's written as a DK tanking guide chapters 7 and 8 are applicable to all classes/roles. This guide assumes you have the basics of DK tanking pretty much internalized, and will do very little hand-holding (especially in the proofs). BY NO MEANS DO YOU NEED TO FOLLOW ALL THE CONCEPTS RAISED HERE. this is means to be a place to understand WHY the things they are they way they are, and no one should feel that studying this is required to play the class.
    One of the reasons I split the guide into two separate stickies is so that I could write this and let it be completely no holds barred. I intend to include as much theorycrafting information as I can. In this place brevity is for the weak, and tl;dr is a dirty word. Here is (mostly) everything I know. May God have mercy on your soul.

    1. Smoothness and stability
    2. Cooldowns
    3. Death Strike timing
    4. Stats
    5. Talents
    6. User Interface
    7. How to improve
    8. Execution
    9. Proofs

    1. Smoothness and stability

    One of the most important abstract concepts in tanking is the idea of smoothness>everything else. Spread out mitigation is almost always preferred to infrequent but huge mitigation (there are exceptions to this). Take 5 boss hits. It is better to negate them all for 80% each than to take 4 for the full amount and completely nullify one, even though they are the same on paper (5*20% = 100% vs 1*100%=100%). Even in situations where on paper the overall approach seems better, for example taking each hit for 85% as opposed to fully removing one (5*15% = 75% vs 1*100% = 100%) you would still want the spread out mitigation because its predictable and much smoother. Obviously if it's something like taking 99% of all hits versus taking half for full and half for 0, then that's different. The point being made here is that spreading out your mitigation has value that doesn't show up on paper, but is incredibly important when it comes to tanking as it affects both active mitigation as well as how we use cooldowns.

    The reason this is preferred to overall mitigation is because tanking is a very "in the moment" thing. It doesn't matter how much damage you took overall, what matters is that you never go below 0 at any one moment, and by extension what matters is that you never go below a certain threshold often enough to be considered spiky or unstable. So what kinds of things can we draw from this? Well never stacking cooldowns (outside of specific mechanics) is one. DS timing as a whole is about shape > size, but that has its own chapter. The AMS glyph is a good example of this concept. on paper it doesn't have any net change in mitigation, simply increasing the per hit cap of ams from 75% to 100%, without changing the total amount absorbed. However, like we established earlier, taking two hits reduced by 75% of AMS and then 25% of AMS is far preferable to taking one reduced by 100% of AMS and another reduced by nothing. Putting it this way you can easily see why we don't take this glyph, and it in fact would be worth less than no glyph at all even though its neutral on paper.

    This concept is EXTREMELY important for blood, as we are the only tank that has to take the damage before we can recover from it. This means without this concept we would be very spiky and predictable, but applying this ideology in our active mitigation and cooldowns as well as stats lets us mitigate this problem (pun intended) and if done right we are as stable as any other tank for progression content. This is one of the reasons we like stamina so much as blood, as being able to smooth out all the damage passively, even if that means taking slightly more overall damage, is almost always worth it.

    Try to keep this concept in mind as we discuss cooldowns and DS timing later on.

    2. Cooldowns

    The most important aspect of cooldowns is to make sure not to overlap them, because we want coverage. This goes right back into the discussion in section 1 about smoothness and spreading out mitigation. However in some cases its better to even let a small gap between the cooldowns to take one hit without a CD up to get even more spread. That seems counter intuitive, but think about it this way: lets say you have 20 hits to take all of equal value, 1 hit every second, and you have 2 cooldowns that last 8 seconds each. You could use them both in succession, which results in you covering the first 16 hits with cooldowns followed by 4 unmitigated hits. or you could take 1 hit use an 8 second cooldown, 1 hit then your second cooldown, then the last 2 hits and then you're done getting hit. By adding a tiny bit of gap you could make more out of the same total coverage time. Now, you need to make sure that taking a hit without a cooldown is ok. If the boss is hitting you hard enough with cooldowns that getting a hit without one will kill you, go for the safe play and go for complete coverage, but the option of gapping is there.

    In many cases cooldowns are pretty rigid in that you have a mechanic that dictates how you will use them. For example if its a rampup mechanic that makes you take more damage as you go higher in stacks (not always stacks but usually), you'll simply find the point at which you take more damage than is stable and use cooldowns starting at that spot until the other tank taunts, never overlapping cooldowns to maximize coverage. (you generally don't want to use cooldown gapping for ramp ups, since if you can afford to take non-mitigated hits you should probably delay using CDs until you can't, depending on the ramp up mechanic in play.

    The other type of place where cooldowns are dictated for you is infrequent plannable hits, where every so often you take an incredibly large amount of damage. Coverage isn't the name of the game with these mechanics, and it becomes about how often you can use them. For example, this type of mechanic makes us want the Icebound Fortitude glyph to cut the duration by 75% but reduce the cd time by 50%, since as long as the CD is up for the very moment that you are hit with the mechanic it doesn't matter how much coverage you got. Using Bone Shield for this type of mechanic is usually a good idea. Simply don't use it when you normally would and save it for right before the big hits, so you have a guaranteed 20% damage reduction without using one of your "normal" cooldowns. If you use Bone Shield normally, you can't guarantee the 20% damage reduction will be there since you can't always dictate how fast you lose charges.

    The final aspect of using cooldowns well is making use of external cooldowns. A good tank tracks the cooldowns he has available to him in his user interface, and that includes external cooldowns. I use Hermes to track them, and can see how many of each external cooldown I have at my disposal, and how long till they are available again. You can almost double your CD coverage in many cases by taking advantage of using external cooldowns. It is the responsibility of the tank, not the healer (or dps warrior/pally), to call for external cooldowns to be used on them. You should have a better idea when to use CDs than your healers, so you shouldn't rely on them to put them on you at the right times.

    3. Death Strike timing.

    DS timing is about changing changing the shape in which we take damage. Like the first section covered, spread out mitigation is better because it's smoother. Smoother is better because it is a predictable and "safe" shape. a wavy line of damage is easier to heal than a jagged spiky line of damage. DS timing involves changing the shape of damage by removing bursts retroactively. If you react to a burst and heal up <1 second after it happens, you "nullify" that burst. a visual example can be found here:

    Notice in the visualization, how the second EKG reading err, damage shape (*cough*) seems more like a pattern, where the first one seems more random. That is the power one burst removal can make. This is what is meant by using DS to alter the shape of your damage, and actually doing this in reality takes practice and refinement, so give yourself plenty of time.

    good Death Strike timing is kind of like a series of yes/no/maybe questions to be gone through each time you take damage. The basic idea can be visualized as a flow chart found here:

    That shouldn't be regarded as a hard rule by any means though. In reality rarely is a damage shape is going to be exactly the same as the shape of another section of damage, making Death Strike timing much more fluid and abstract. The questions in the flow chart also then have to become more abstract. For example, "are you about to get another FU pair back?" is a yes/no/maybe question in the flow chart, but in reality you can have anywhere from 100% to 0% remaining recharge on your next FU pair. Everyone would agree that if you have 100% remaining charge time left, the answer to the "are you...pair back?" question would be 'no'. similarly, almost everyone would say that if you have 0% recharge time remaining (both FU pairs up), then the answer would not only be 'yes', but also 'yes and you should have used them already.' But what about 33% remaining time? Is that a 'yes' or a 'maybe'? What about 30%? 20%? There are no strict rules. Almost everything ends up as a blurry line that has to be decided with good judgement, which means you have to foster the judgement to do it well. How do you do that? practice. You need to actively engage with getting better with DS timing, more-so than any other aspect of tanking that I know of. If you want to improve on DS timing beyond "use it when you take big damage" you need to really dig in and start internalizing it to the point where you can see the big picture at all times, and be flexible so you can adjust on the fly for every situation.

    Defining what a "big hit" looks like depends entirely on the damage around it. If you take 20% hits for ages then a random 50% hit, that's going to be a very likely candidate for a DS removal. But if you are taking 50% hits regularly, it is not nearly as likely to be removed with DS unless your runes are about to come back. A big part of knowing when to use DS is to know the burst potential you are in, based on the content and based on your gearing. If you are stacking avoidance, then you are going to have to account for more burst than normal due to to risk of spikier intake, meaning you might let one burst go that you would have removed in another setup like stam or mastery.

    4. Stats

    When looking at stats from a survival point of view, you have to look at how they will help you in changing your damage shape. For the most part, this means either how it affects DS timing and how much coverage it gives because those are the factors that go into how smooth your damage shape will be. It is important to note, overall damage reduction is rarely the deciding factor in which one is best. The shape of the damage is almost always more important than the overall amount. Let's look at each stat and how they work as smoothing stats.


    Haste works by giving us more Death Strikes to work with. If you get a DS slightly faster, you can be a bit looser with your timing because you have more flexibility with high haste. Using an FU pair on a burst that wasn't 100% optimal is not nearly as punished, and you can safely remove more smaller bursts without being at risk of getting large ones.


    Many people think mastery is about the DS it's attached to, but in reality the benefit of mastery works in a very similar way to the benefit of haste - bridging the gap between death strikes. think about coverage as having something between you and the boss, not necessarily something super powerful between you and the boss. An attack mitigated by say 20% may not seem like a huge deal, but the difference between a burst for 60% of your health and for 48% of your health is definitely significant. If you assume the boss has a swing timer of 1.8 seconds, then one "covered" attack can be though of as buying 1.8 seconds towards your next rune pair. The less time between your rune pairs, the less chance of you being left without one when you need it. More mastery means a better chance at getting an extra attack covered.


    Avoidance also works in a similar way to mastery and haste, in that an avoided attack means an extra boss swing timer (~1.8 seconds) towards your next rune pair by delaying any required reaction to burst. This is far less reliable then the other stats however, and due to this we generally don't value avoidance very highly compared to say mastery or stamina, which are much more reliable.


    stamina is our best defensive stat in terms of smoothness. Passively spreading out ALL attacks, magic or physical, by a small amount is incredibly strong for blood. We also have a sizable stam modifier, so we get plenty of health per point of stam.


    Strength as a defensive stat is simply 97% its value in parry. (1 point of str = .97 points in parry).

    Comparing them with eachother:

    Haste vs mastery:

    There are two factors to comparing these two - The mastery shield size versus the benefits of the rune recharge increase as well as the SoB gained from haste. Haste's benefit is shortening the DS gap, and when timing DS is about reacting to incoming damage having runes come back at ~.006923 (depending on how much you already have) seconds per point of haste is not great. While having more DS at your disposal allows for flexibility of DS timing, it doesn't necessarily increase its effectiveness because you're at the mercy of when the burst that requires reaction occurs. At 12750 haste rating (30%) you get just 1.9 seconds(proof #1) of rune charge time knocked of each rune cycle, the chances of you being able to react to a burst that you wouldn't otherwise have been able to react to is not very high. 12750 mastery on the other hand increases your shield by 132.8%(proof #2). Factor in that because mastery's benefit is in extending shields post-burst, the more mastery you have the more guaranteed space you have between bursts. Given the choice between 1.9 seconds of rune recharge time and 132.8% extra shield per death strike, I pick the shield.

    Haste also gives extra SoB procs, which means more shield size, but the amount is very small. You get x% increase of auto attacks for every x% increase in haste from ratings(proof #3), which means we get 0.185% mastery from each % of haste you have(proof #4).
    in terms of ratings that's .04179 points of mastery per point of haste(proof #5). That's not big enough to swing favor towards haste in any way, so I still posit that mastery>haste

    Avoidance vs haste:

    This is less abstract than the haste vs mastery comparison. It's simply looking at coverage. Given the results, we can actually throw out diminishing returns in our calculations. If Avoidance doesn't win without factoring in DR, it won't when we do. We get about 0.0000203 seconds of coverage per point of avoidance(proof #6), while we get our DS gap shortened by an average of 0.00014349 (average over haste values 0 to 15000) per point of haste(proof #7). This is not even factoring the albeit small amount
    of mastery we get with each point of haste, though that data isn't necessary to point out how haste allows us to cover more bursts than avoidance will on average. Given this data, I posit that haste>avoidance

    Mastery vs avoidance:

    Since the previous comparisons resulted in mastery>haste and haste>avoidance, it should be pretty simple to conclude mastery>avoidance, however I will give a full comparison for the sake of showing the logic behind it. Comparing these two stats is less about coverage and more about reliability, although avoidance wouldn't win out on coverage either. As mentioned in the mastery vs haste topic, mastery guarantees space between bursts (depending on how much shield you have versus how much the melee hits are for), so even if on paper things are close mastery will win out just because you know the benefit will go right where it needs to, as opposed to randomly removing a burst. As said before we CAN time DS around random avoidance pretty easily considering we are already playing a reactive game, but it still doesn't beat the ability to automatically have our mitigation right where we want it - directly spacing out bursts. Given this data I posit that mastery>avoidance.


    The final conclusion given the data presented is that mastery>haste>avoidance for smoothness. Haste wins for overall coverage, but loses to mastery due to how DS timing works. Avoidance is inferior to haste in coverage and inferior to mastery in making DS timing more effective.

    5. Talents

    Tier 1:
    Roiling Blood - Most effective way to reliably spread diseases at no cost.

    Plague Leech - In terms of resource generation, this is actually incredibly powerful. By using the glyph of outbreak and eating diseases off cooldown, you get a significant DS gain, however it uses a GCD so in terms of damage it is not great, despite how it looks on paper. Right now we are so full of resources due to 5.4's addition of Riposte that we simply can't take advantage of this talent at all, and taking it is sub-optimal.

    Unholy Blight - This spread diseaes without using a B rune, however since when multiple adds are involved you will be using Blood Boil anyway, there is really no reason to ever use this given other options.

    Tier 2:
    Lichborne - With decent AP the Lichborne/Death Coil does significant healing. In fact it only takes (.5*hp-3966)/1.7699 AP to make A single Death Coil cast on yourself do 50% of your health(proof #8), matching that of Death Pact. However there are downsides, the primary one being that you have to spend 40 RP AND a GCD to use it every time you heal yourself. This makes it a pretty significant damage loss whenever you use it. That aside, it's not the healing that makes or breaks Lichborne but rather how much you value Purgatory. The ability to "die" every 3 minutes is very powerful, especially considering how our AM works. This safety net can save a lot of would be wipes, and not just those caused by mistakes. Progression content can hurt, and anything you can do further remove any tank deaths is something worth doing. That said, if you are very certain you will never get use out of purgatory, such as lower damage content with less healers (or bad ones) you can make the switch to lichborne as a "I need healing and no ones giving it to me" button, though it still comes with the damage loss. There is no math to tell you which is better, since they are apples and oranges, however for mos progression content I would highly recommend Purgatory.

    Anti-Magic-Zone - As already stated, Purgatory is highly recommended for progression content, however some mechanics will make AMZ almost a necessity, depending on your raid comp. If you feel comfortable with taking off purgatory for a fight and AMZ is needed don't hesitate. You should be able to function without Purgatory and if your raid needs the AMZ for a strat, you shouldn't hesitate to switch if a dps DK can't do so instead.

    Purgatory - One of the most powerful anti-death tools in the game. It basically allows you to "die" once every 3 minutes. While you shouldn't be "dying" at all if possible, progression content can hit hard and sometimes the safety net is just a no brainer. Plus, having Purgatory up for big hit mechanics that are timable means you can go light on the CDs, since if your judgement is low on how much you need for the hit you don't die, which means you can potentially get more out of your CDs and play your CDs 'riskier' without much risk. This doesn't mean play like an idiot when Purgatory is available, it means if you think you can survive the next plannable hit without a CD but aren't sure then you can safely take the risk.

    Tier 3:
    There is very little choice here. If you need the slow, take chilblains. If you need the extra stun, take asphyxiate. Otherwise pick Death's Advance every time. Mobility is an important factor for tanking as well as damage output, and this is our only place to get it. There isn't a breakdown for each one here, because the choice doesn't warrant a discussion.

    Tier 4:
    Death Pact - This cooldown plays right into our reactive style. It's basically a big DS heal without the shield, and should be used in the same way in that you use it to smooth out the damage shape by removing a burst, similar to DS timing.

    Death Siphon - Better used as a damage dealing ability than a heal. The issue with this talent is that it takes 2 GCDs to spend the same runes you would use a DS on, which is a problem when we are as GCD capped as we are now in 5.4. It's simply not worth taking Death Siphon from a survival point of view(proof #9) or a damage point of view(proof #10).

    Conversion - There are a couple reasons why Conversion is rarely taken if ever. For one, while it is active you do not gain RP from Scent of Blood. This is a problem. The seconds issue with it is that we simply don't have much value for small constant heals, because they don't help us shape the damage nearly as much as we can with larger timable heals like Death Pact.

    Tier 5:
    I have given this tier its own section. See the next section (6) for details on our rune regen talents.

    Tier 6:
    This tier is chosen primarily by mechanics. Each talent option has a specific and obvious effect, gripping adds with Gorefiend's, slowing/stunning with Remorseless Winter, and removing stuns (when you can) with Desecrated Ground. There is no 'optimal' choice by default as each one is completely depending on mechanics for its usefulness. It is worth noting that Remorseless Winter can be used fantastically as a CD if you are being hit by stunnable adds. Just be aware that their swing timer resets when they unfreeze, so move slightly to have them reach you at different time to prevent one big whollap when they come unstunned.

    6. Rune regen talents

    why NOT to use Runic Empowerment:
    The one thing that makes me groan more than any other thing when it comes to DKs, is when I see them tanking with Runic Empowerment. This is the only "bad" choice when it comes to out rune regen talents, as it directly works against DS timing. Unlike the other two options, you have to put both runes of one type at the moment you use Rune Strike/death coil to have a chance at getting that rune back. This means when you use DS is less dictated by when you can use it for best DS timing and more dictated by when you need to dump runic power. As blood we want to have a FU pair ready to go if we take damage requiring a reaction. With RE, we have to put all FU pairs down and get 2 pocs before we can DS again. This is at LEAST 2 seconds (one for each GCD for the rune strikes), and realistically ~4 seconds to get them back IF you spend EVERY SINGLE GCD on rune strike until you have it back(proof #11). Any GCD used on BB, DnD, etc. will delay it by another second. Now, 4 seconds between death strikes isn't bad, but this is time that you CAN NOT recover from burst with death strike, making you vulnerable EVERY TIME you want to dump RP.

    Choosing between Blood Tap and runic corruption:
    Blood Tap is going to have slightly higher DS/min than RC(proof #12), but RC is going to have slightly more damage per rp than BT(proof #13). This means that as long as you have open GCDs (in other words as long as damage per RP means something) you can use RC for a slight survivability loss in exchange for damage output. Currently blood is pretty resource heavy with Riposte added in 5.4, so we have no open GCDs making RC technically a sub-optimal choice. This is only compared with perfect use of BT though, and the actual difference in performance with them in general is very slight.

    7. User interface

    Not everyone agrees with this, but many raiders, including myself, will swear on a good user interface as being important to your success as a raider. In the Execution chapter I mention internalizing things
    to help with execution in a stressful situation. Basically the more things you have committed to muscle memory, the more focus you have to pay attention to other things like raid awareness. A good user interface is GREAT for helping the internalization process. For example, Bone Shield should generally be used off cooldown as long as you have no remaining charges, but if you have remaining charges you should delay using it until they are gone. You could just keep track of all this mentally, OR you could just have an addon in your user interface tell you when to use by telling it to only go off if Bone Shield is up and you have no charges. Simply hit Bone Shield when that icon comes up and you have perfect optimal use of Bone Shield just. You transferred something that would normally take a lot of focus and made it into just reacting to your interface. UI elements like this go a long way in helping your performance.

    Other factors of a good UI involve tracking all your CDs (including externals!!!) and runes in a place where you can quickly asses your current resource situation. DS timing requires a constant awareness of your health and runes, so both of those should be very visible in your UI.

    Finally things such as threat plates help you keep track of threat without having to tab through mobs, as well as selecting a non-aggroed add out of a clumped up group of aggrod ones.

    8. How to improve

    If you're reading the advanced guide, there's a good chance you are trying to grow as raider and move up into the next tier of raiding from where you are. If that's the case you've taking the right first step, but improving in any performance based field isn't just about knowledge. you have to be able to apply it to your performance before it will do you any good. The first step to this is never making excuses, only observations. Did you die because you had an add on you that the other tank was supposed to have? Sure it may have been his "fault", but if you didn't use a cooldown then you still made a mistake.

    That ideology will make a better player in the end run, because whose fault it actually is has nothing to do with getting stuff done. Regardless of who did what, look at what YOU could do with the situation to make it better. If you missed something that might have saved the situation, then make a note of it and admit you could have done that better. The same ideology goes with criticism. If you aim to push your way into high end guilds, you're going to get criticism at some point. Being able to take whats being said without getting defensive is an important attribute, because again not having something be your fault doesn't change the situation or teach you anything.

    Another great technique for improving your performance is recording yourself. If you have access to a screen capture software (I myself prefer Bandicam) then record the entire raid and take some time
    to watch it. You don't have to watch it all the way through, but just watching some key moments as well as some overall play is great. You see a LOT more looking over your own shoulder than you
    will just be keeping track of any mistakes live.

    Finally, realize that you can't improve everything at once. Focus on specifics and until you're all rounded out. Know what your weaknesses are and focus on those until you have new weaknesses in comparison, and rinse repeat until every attribute is where you want it to be. Whatever your weakest skill, invest all your energy into improving that skill until its on par with everything else.

    9. Execution

    One of the most important elements of any performance field (competitive games, music, sports, etc.) is execution. If you can't take what you know and apply it, it's not doing anyone any good. If you have problems with execution or performance anxiety, you're definitely not alone though. Performance Psychology is a field growing at a huge rate, and for good reason (I am not a Performance Psychologist, but one of my good friends is) . There is a lot of science behind why people get nervous when its time to put up or shut up, and there are a lot of techniques around how to deal with it. What may work for someone else may not work for you, but at the very least take heart that you're far from alone.

    Part of being able to execute is to internalize as MUCH as possible. Make as much as you can passive and automatic so that you can focus on the things that DO need your attention. If you try
    to focus on absolutely everything going on at once you're going to drop something important, so take the time to commit things to muscle memory so that you can simple execute when the time comes.

    One thing that prevents many players from perfect execution is performance anxiety, also known as "stage fright". Maybe it's when they first join a new guild, or maybe its when they get to a new boss,
    but at some point many players have suffered from nervousness that kept them from playing at their peak. Nerves are a vicious cycle. If you make a mistake your are likely going to get more nervous, which
    makes you more likely to make more mistakes, so on so forth. Many people deal with nerves differently. Some people take steps beforehand to prevent nerves in the first place using rituals like always eating before raid or running over raid strats for at least 30 minutes before raid etc., while some are able to simply recognize when they are in that vicious cycle and take a deep breath and stop it. In the moment of panic after a mistake is made, the best thing (in my opinion) is to just completely ignore it for the remainder of the pull. Don't ignore the mistake in that you don't adjust your play around it (picking up an add that may have spawned or something), but don't dwell on it. As far as your concerned, until the fight is over and its time to look at what happened, you just need to keep going and what's in the past is in the past, even if that's <10 seconds ago.

    There are many other techniques than what I've listed here, and performance psychology is a widely applicable field so you can find non-video game related resources on nervousness and apply it to raiding very easily.

    10. Proofs

    1) 12750 haste = 1.9 seconds of rune regen time saved.

    The formula for calculating rune regen time is as follows:

    haste buffs are 20% from blood presence, and 10% from raid buffs, and base rune regeneration is 10 seconds. To find the time saved in seconds from 12750 haste, we use that formula above to calculate the recharge time at 0 haste with buffs and subtract from that the recharge time at 12750 haste with buffs.

    the result is 1.904 seconds saved from 12750 haste rating.

    2) 12750 mastery rating = 133% additional shield

    it takes 96 points of mastery to get 1% additional blood shield.
    12750/96 = 132.8125%

    3) You get x% increase in auto attacks for x% increase in haste from rating

    The formula for calculating swing timer is as follows:

    take the swing timer with 0 haste and divide by the swing timer with x haste rating to get the % increase, y.

    which simplifies to:

    Remember that x is still in ratings at this point, not %. Next, solve for x:

    then to show x and y are equal, convert x (which is still in haste rating) to haste %
    1.01 (1%) haste = 425 rating, so x rating = (x/425)/100+1 = x as a percent

    turns into


    x being equal to y proves that for every x% of haste you have, you get x% more auto attacks

    4) You get 0.185% mastery from each % of haste you have through SoB

    As proved in proof #3, you get x% more auto attacks for every x% haste you have.
    1% of haste results in 1% more auto attacks. Since we don't hard cap exp%, about
    7.5% of our auto attacks will be parried (assuming 7.5%/7.5% hit/exp)
    therefore 1% increased haste translates to .925*1=.925% increase in successful auto attacks.
    since each successful auto attack is worth 20% mastery through SoB, we take the increased
    successful auto attacks and multiply it times 20 to get 20*.00925 (.925%) = 0.185%

    5) You get .04179 points of mastery for every 1 point of haste through SoB

    As proved in proof #4 we get .185% mastery for every 1% haste.
    .185% mastery is equivalent to 17.76 mastery rating, and 1% haste is 425 haste rating.
    17.75/425 = .041788 mastery per haste.

    6) Before DR you get .00203 seconds of coverage per point of avoidance

    It take 885 points to get 1% avoidance at lvl 90 for both avoidance stats before DR.
    this means you get 1/885 = .0011299% avoidance per point.
    Each avoided attack is equivalent to 1.8 seconds of coverage in a DS gap,
    meaning each point of avoidance gives you 1.8*.0011299/100 = .0000203 seconds of coverage per point

    7) We get 0.00014349 (average over haste values 0 to 15000) seconds off our rune charge time per point of haste

    The formula for finding the rune recharge time is as follows:

    we start by taking that formula solved with x haste rating and subtract from it the same formula solved with x+1 haste rating
    giving us a curve representing the seconds gained by 1 point beyond x haste rating. This looks like:

    to find the average of this curve from 0 haste to 15000, we take the definite integral of the function above from 0 to 15000
    and divide by the total spanned distance, 15000-0=15000.

    8) It takes (.5*hp-3966)/1.7699 AP to make a single Death Coil cast on yourself do 50% of your health

    set up the equation half your health = value of DC:

    solve for AP

    9) It's not worth taking Death Siphon from a survival point of view.

    There is not much math to this, since the simple fact that not having a shield
    is enough to make trading a DS away for a Death Siphon not feasible for physical content.
    The shield we get from DS is just too important.

    10) It's not worth taking Death Siphon from a damage point of view.

    Again not much math required on this one. The fact that it takes 2 GCDs to do similar damage to a single Death strike
    which uses 1 GCD makes it not usable in the GCD starved state we are in. even if those 2 GCDs did more damage than the 1 GCD for
    the same total resources, because you are not going to get that time back through an open GCD you basically cut your damage for those 2 seconds in roughly half.

    11) It takes ~4 seconds to get an FU pair if you spend every GCD on rune strike.

    after 1 second you will have done 1 RS. You have a 45% chance to have 1 F or U rune and a 55% chance to have nothing.
    meaning you have a 0% chance to have a DS to use.

    after 2 seconds you will have done 2 RS. You will have a .45*.45=20.25% chance to an FU pair, and a .45*.55*2=49.5% to have 1 F or U rune,
    and a .55*.55=30.25% chance to have nothing, resulting in a 20.25% chance to have a DS

    after 3 seconds you will have done 3 RS. You will have a .45^2*55*3=33.4125% chance to have an FU pair back, a .45*.55^2*3=40.8375% and .55^3=16.6375% chance to have nothing.
    This means you have a .334125+.091125= 42.525% chance to have a DS at 3 seconds.

    After 4 seconds you will have done 4 Rune Strikes. You have a .45^2*.55^2*6=~36.75% chance to have 2 back, a .45*.55^3*4=~29.948% chance to have an orphaned rune,
    and a .55^4=~9.151% to have nothing at all. This means you have a .041+.20048+.3675=~60.898%
    to have a DS to use after 4 seconds of being without without having your recharging pair back.

    Since it took 4 seconds to get above 50% success rate, you will more often than not end up waiting 4 seconds for your FU pair if you use every single GCD on rune strike after DSing.

    12) Blood Tap is going to have slightly higher DS/min than RC.

    Blood Tap gives back death runes, so 2 uses of blood tap at 10 total charges is equal to one death strike
    it takes 5 rune strike to get 10 charges, so blood tap gives 1/5th, or 20% of a death strike per rune strike

    Runic corruption gives 30% of each rune when it procs, and it has a 45% chance to proc on each rune strike, resulting in
    .45*30=13.5% of a death strike per rune.

    20% is significant higher than 13.5%, but remember this is only the benefit we get from each proc. Since this is only one part of our total DS/min,
    you don't gain anywhere 67.5% more death strike total from switching from RC to BT.

    13) RC is going to have slightly more damage per rp than BT.

    Proof #12 showed that blood tap gives 20% of a death strike per rune strike.
    It also showed that runic corruption gives 13.5% of a death strike per rune strike, but it also
    gives 13.5% of a blood rune.

    Since death strike has a weapon modifier of 259%, and hearth strike has a weapon modifier of 136.5% (105% with a 30% boost from diseases)
    a single blood rune to be used on heart strike is about 5.4% more damage than a single death rune to be used on half a death strike.

    RC gives 13.5% of a death strike and 13.5% of a blood rune. The blood rune can be thought of as 14.2297% of a death rune in terms of damage.
    Thus, RC gives 13.5%*2+14.2297% = 41.2297% of a single death rune, and BT gives 20%*2 = 40% of a single death rune, making RC a roughly 3% gain over BT in damage per RP.
    Last edited by Reniat; 2014-06-05 at 07:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Looks good, but I found a minor error:
    Quote Originally Posted by Reniat View Post
    Since death strike has a weapon modifier of 259%, and hearth strike has a weapon modifier of 1.365% (105% with a 30% boost from diseases)
    Should be 136.5%(1.356 x weapon damage)
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquamonkey View Post
    Just because Mannoroth and Archimonde are involved doesn't mean it's Legion. They could just be on vacation, demolishing Draenor to build their new summer home.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dundebuns View Post
    Did you know that salt has sodium and chlorine in it!!!! Sodium explodes when exposed to atmosphere and you clean your toilets with chlorine!!

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by zoomgpally View Post
    Looks good, but I found a minor error:

    Should be 136.5%(1.356 x weapon damage)
    doh. Thank you.

    - - - Updated - - -

    In order to keep it at one sticky, i've merged this and the other guide into one thread. This specific thread will not get stickied.

  4. #4

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