DK Tank – Second Impressions

So now I have gotten a few heroics down my belt (and even an alt naxx run), I must say tanking can be…  Boring.  I mean, I don’t regret going tank.  But most of the time, DPS/Heals have the most fun.  Now I know why my tanks are always complaining they want to do something else.  Really, once you have aggro, its just about it for you, unless you have a DPS going way out on threat, then its just taunt, DC, etc…

Anyway, a few things I have noticed about DK Tanks, Blood in particular:

  • The rune system feels, I don’t know, very restrictive I guess is the best word.   Death and Decay leads out on almost every pull, then by the time I set up my diseases and do one single blood boil, I have to REALLY hope that just that is enough to hold aggro for about 15 seconds, because runes are still on cooldown.  I am Extremely apprehensive about what they are going to do with the single rune cooldown system in cataclysm, because right now, I think blood tanks feel restricted by them.
  • What is the benefit to having the ghoul out?  Just (slightly) more threat?  An additional button I can press to sacrifice him for health?  He doesn’t last the whole boss fight, so it really dosent feel like an additional “cooldown”.  And the threat he generates is negligible.  Right now I don’t feel the need to constantly have him up.  Perhaps It will be a button I start to press during an extremely punishing part of an encounter so that I have the option of killing it for extra health.
  • Again, I will say that with Blood DK’s the self healing really does help smooth out the spike damage that they are famous for.  Most Blood tank builds actually do not talent for improved blood presence (witch allows you to keep the healing in frost presence), but I find it a little silly not to take it.  Its what characterizes the whole tree.
  • I like the mechanic of giving 5% reduced damage when you have your blood runes on cooldown.  It forces you to constantly think about your runes.
  • H FoS just sucks to tank, I am sorry for all the times I screwed up my tank’s pulls in DPS spec.  I think the designers purposefully put casters in such a way that at least 2 are always out of the range of your AoE ability (death and decay, for example).  It takes skill to round those up, and it takes even more skill to round them up and hold aggro while DPS goes from 0 to 60 in two second flat (seriously guys, these pulls SUCK as a tank, give us some room to get some aggro).
  • I am worried about tanking gear, at least for this toon.  With DPS gear on a pally, it is quite fun to juggle around some different stats to tweak your build.  Like a high crit build, or a high haste build.  But with tanks, its a bit… boring.  Flavor is needed.  Because parry and dodge and stam are pretty much it for a DK tank.   Yes STR effects Parry as well.  But when getting gear upgrades (which I think I still have like 5 blues on), its either a clear upgrade, or its not an upgrade.  There is no middle ground
  • Thankfully, I have gotten nothing but compliments on my tanking.   I had a rough spot in H FoS, but I thanked my healer, and asked him how I could help.  It was a collaborative effort, and a much smoother run than it could have been.
  • And on that note, people take you more seriously if you are a tank.  If you ask for something to happen, it generally happens.  Unlike healers, where I generally get told to “shut up and l2heal.”  or some variation thereof.  Its nice to tell a DPS to stop, or I wont taunt off of him anymore.  And lo and behold, they stop.
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