Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night

Hello, my name is Sannhet.

You may or may not know me, but I've been featured on this blog multiple times under different posts and different aliases. I'd go back and post them all here but y'know, I don't like to toot my own horn or anything.

I'd much rather you toot my horn. Cha-ching.

Anyway. While my writing skills, and indeed, my WoW knowledge repertoire, are not quite up to Ms. Bell's standards, I volunteered to at least help fill in for her while she deals with the school and the substantially greater problem of not having WotLK. That being said, don't judge the lady by my entries, as she's not a man, and that could cause some confusion later on.

Today, I'll be focusing on the first installment of a three part series I'm going to designate "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night". You might know this by reading the title, but of course, I'm operating under the assumption that you are all illiterate. Which makes perfect sense considering this is a blog. This particular series of entries will be dedicated to, and indeed, revolving much like the universe around myself, around Death Knight tanking. I'll start with the basics, what every wanna-be DK tank needs to know about the basic spec, rotation, and so on, and move on to itemization, glyphs, and specific specs. There will be a pop quiz later this week.

Death Knight Tanking Step #1

For tanking, every single DK specs the exact same way....or should, at any rate. Now now, don't get your panties in a knot, I said for tanking. The trees further define their role and how they go about it, but in the end, there are only four core must-have talents, and they are:

Improved Thundercla--er, Icy Touch

This very simple talent allows for an additional 6% reduction of melee and ranged attack speed, added on to the spells base of 14%. In other words, with a single frost rune, you take the enemies beat-the-hell out of you rate and subtract 20% from it. Handy. The extra damage doesn't hurt your threat either.

Look Ma, No Blood!

This talent will allow you 10% extra parry for doing something you do anyway, and will give you something to brag about later when you see the other DKs dying. In another nifty measure, which the few of you who have played a DK past 67 will realize, it gives you more procs on Runestrike....10% more chance, to be exact. Twice the awesome, half the calories!

Hah! You Missed Me!
These Landlubbers Are Tougher Than I Thought!

These two shouldn't need to be explained, but for the sake of the "Mastarogue"s and "Mastapally"s out there, I'll just say, one gives you dodge. This helps you dodge. The other gives you armor. good.

Death Knight Tanking Step #2
We Prefer "Circular Movement"

Rotations vary between DKs, depending on spec, since they therefore have different skills with which to accomplish their tanking goals, but basic similarities do exist.

To start with, while you may be tempted to make every pull with Death Grip (hereafter referred to as 'GET OVER HERE!'), it isn't allowing you to function at your maximum potential. Instead, when possible, pull with Icy Touch.

This has several benefits that may not be readily apparent to the casual viewer, the first of which is simply saving your 'GET OVER HERE!' for later use, say when the healer gets aggro off that giant-troll-undead-demon and you can't pry yourself from the succubus that looks more and more enticing after twelve hours of farming mats and 23 cans of Mountain Dew. In this particular situation, 3 seconds of "hey, hey, look at me, lookatme!" will make your healer very happy. 35 seconds on cooldown may not seem like much, but neither does $5, until you need it and don't have it.

The second benefit is that by the time you've blasted that mob with an infectious disease (ew....) and he manages to meander his way over to you, you'll be well on your way to getting that Frost Rune back, allowing you to unleash more of that sexy tank loving that so resembles an abusive relationship.

After the pull, 'tis merely a matter of applying your next disease via Plague Strike and burning your Blood Runes as quickly as possible to allow Blade Barrier to do its beautiful, beautiful work, with whatever blows your hair back the most, be it Blood Strike, Heart Strike, or otherwise.

Judicious usage of Rune Strike and your respective Rune Power dump is all that's needed after that. Rinse and repeat, and consult your physician if you have an erection lasting longer than four hours.

Death Knight Tanking Step #3
I'm A Loser, After All

AoE threat is more complicated for a Dead Night than it is for any other tanking class. While Pallies (kek) can drop a Consecration and toss on Holy Shield, not to mention Captain America, Thor, being awesome....where was I? Oh, right. Droods have Swipe and *skill removed due to popular demand*, and Warriors have The Gift That Keeps on Giving, the newly minted Shockwave, and the Glyph of Awesomeness.

Death Knights have Death and Decay...and er....Death and Decay. But fear not, faithful listeners! MC Grand Master Funk Daddy Sannhet has the beat you need. Competitive AoE threat gen as a DK is possible, and while not exactly easymode, it isn't far from simple either.

After your first Icy Touch (hopefully applied during the pull itself, if you've been reading), drop Death and Decay, and follow it up with Plague Strike. If you're Frost and Rime procs, now is the time for Howling Blast. When your Runes begin regenerating, follow up with Pestilence and soon thereafter, Blood Boil. As in the discussion on rotation, continue as needed, doing your best to keep your Blood Runes down and Blade Barrier up. If your DPS is focusing as they should, at this point you should be pleasantly ahead on the next target. And if they're not, there's always plenty of DPS in LFG and sharks in the Atlantic that love fresh meat. Simple and effective.

And that's today's installment of "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: Operation Dead Night". See you next time, and leave the vibrators at home. Remember, only you can prevent forest fires.

This is Sannhet, signing off.

TL;DR Version:
What, am I writing for my health? Go back and read it, ya knuckledragger!

*EDIT: It was pointed out that I linked Demoralizing Roar instead of Challenging Roar for the droods. But re-reading and seeing as Challenging Roar doesn't really offer anything in the way of threat per se anyway, it really doesn't apply, regardless. Anyway, thanks for pointing it out, I don't know what I was thinking about when I wrote it but I'm sure it'll come back to me.*


Dessyreqt said...

You didn't seriously just refer to Demoralizing Roar as a viable AoE threat option, did you?

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking the intention was Challenging Roar. >.> But my forays in bearform are limited, so I may have gotten the name wrong too.

Sir Sannhet said...

^ This.

We all make mistakes.

Even God.

I mean, look at the platypus!

Anonymous said...

"the Gift that Keeps on Giving"


Anonymous said...

Haha. Death knights need to use their abilities. I don't know if they think they are hot shit, but I've had a few too many DK tanks who though abilites were below them, which makes healing them a BITCH.

Death Knight, you have no damage medigation (sp?) compared to other tanks. Please realize that.

Like your post :)

Sir Sannhet said...

Luckily for DKs, in the upcoming patch a lot of things are being changed to make them less reliant on cooldowns. Not unreliant, just less so.

As far as skills go, if I see a frost DK not rotating his 1min CDs, even on trash, I explain, give him one more chance, then kick him. I don' play no games.