WARNING: Before you post your inane shit, read this post entirely and see if your question is answered here. If its not, I encourage you to do your own research. Go to WoWwiki or Tankspot Forums and check there. Or read these forums. DO NOT POST WITHOUT AT LEAST TRYING TO FIND YOUR ANSWER FIRST. Ignore this at your own peril. You have been warned.
TANKING: (DPS section is further down)
Definitions and Common Abbreviations
- Runic Power and â€œDumpsâ€
Mitigation and Defense
- Defense Cap
- Mitigation Abilities
- Avoidance Caps
- Defense and Avoidance
- What it is
- Threat Basics
- Increasing Threat
- Hit Cap
- Other Suggestions to Increase Threat
Dual Wield vs Two Handed Tanking
- Problems with Dual Wield
- Dual Wield Advice
- Rotation and Priorities
- Improved Icy Talents vs Windfury
- Useful Macros
- Tanking Runes
- Stat Priorities
- Stamina vs Avoidance
- Gearing Before Naxx
DEFINITONS AND COMMON ABBREVIATIONS
Avoidance refers to the chance to dodge/parry/be missed by an attack by you or a mob. This might also include the chance to fully resist a spell if we're talking about magic.
Effective Health is the amount of raw damage a mob would need to deal to you in order to kill you if no attacks were avoided. This is a combination of mitigation and total hit points and has nothing to do with avoidance. Talents like Vampiric Blood would count toward a tank's Effective Health.
Mitigation is the amount by which damage is reduced when an attack hits you. This typically includes values like block and armor, but since DKs don't have block it would just be armor. Abilities such as Unbreakable Armor, Bone Shield and Ice Bound Fortitude all count as Mitigation.
Common Abbreviations and Acronyms
AMS Anti-Magic Shell
AMZ Anti-Magic Zone
AoD Army of the Dead
BB Blood Boil (also used to refer to Blade Barrier)
BCB Blood-Caked Blade
BG Blood Gorged
BotN Blood of the North
BP Blood Plague
BnS Bone Shield
BS Blood Strike (sometimes used for Bone Shield)
BT Blood Tap
CE Corpse Explosion
CF Crypt Fever
DC Death Coil
DG Death Grip
DnD/D&D Death and Decay
DRW Dancing Rune Weapon
DS Death Strike
EP Ebon Plaguebringer
ERW Empower Rune Weapon
FF Frost Fever
FS Frost Strike
GoG Guile of Gorefiend
HB Howling Blast
HC Hungering Cold
HS Heart Strike
IBF Icebound Fortitude
IT Icy Touch
MoB Mark of Blood
MoG Master of Ghouls
MoM Might of Mograine
OaPH On a Pale Horse
PS Plague Strike
RoR Rage of Rivendare
SD Sudden Doom
SG Summon Gargoyle
SS Scourge Strike
TS Tundra Stalker
UA Unbreakable Armor
UB Unholy Blight
VB Vampiric Blood
VotW Veteran of the Third War
WotN Will of the Necropolis
INTRODUCTION TO DEATH KNIGHTS
No need to re-invent the wheel here. A good explaination on how the rune system works can be found here. The runic power part on that post is a bit outdated but the rest is good stuff. Thanks to Illundai.
Runic Power and â€œDumpsâ€
As a Death Knight utilizes his runes, he gains runic power depending on how many runes were spent on each ability. Abilities that only cost one rune like IT, PS, or BS will generate 5 runic power. Multi-rune abilities will generate 15 runic power. This is then modified by any talents you may have (example: Chill of the Grave) or glyphs that provide bonus.
A Death Knight can only have 100 runic power at max, unless he takes the frost talent Runic Power Mastery which allows him to have 15 more for each point spent up to 30 extra. Most tanks will not allow these points to build up. Ideally, a tank will want to be using all its runic power for Rune Strike. However, sometimes a Death Knight will get excess points and will need to â€œdumpâ€ the power else he wonâ€™t gain anymore. These â€œdumpsâ€ as they are commonly referred to usually consist of whatever runic cost power he has access to that does damage (most commonly Frost Strike and Death Coil).
MITIGATION AND DEFENSE
The defense cap is actually misnomer. Its not really a cap at all, merely the amount of defense you need to push boss crits off the table. There is no â€œcapâ€ to defense, but the defense â€œcapâ€ commonly refers to this number that makes you uncrittable.
There are two numbers that are important, Defense Skill and Defense Rating:
- Defense Rating is what you will commonly find on gear. 4.91850 defense rating equals one point of defense skill.
- Defense Skill is the number found on your character sheet. A level 80 character without any additional Defense Rating has 400 Defense Skill.
The number youâ€™re shooting for to become uncrittable is 540 defense SKILL.
Note thatâ€™s 540 skill, not rating. You need about 690 rating (at level 80) to hit that from the 400 defense skill a level 80 character will have.
However you get your skill is up to you. Gear is easily obtainable between instances and crafting. If you got some spare sockets, use or to help obtain the cap. If you only need a few more points, there are several good gems that add 8 (blue gems) or 10 (epic gems) defense and another stat. Refer to the Gem section below.
Defense will also add to avoidance. See the Avoidance section below.
Death Knights can wear plate, so they naturally will have a high amount of armor. When tanking, Death Knights use Frost Presence. Frost Presence does four very important things for tanking.
- Increases stamina by 6%
- Decreases all damage taken by 8%
- Increases threat for each attack done
- Increases armor value of items worn by 60%. (Important Note: This multiplier does not affect extra armor on rings, trinkets, amulets or any items with bonus armor.)
- Icebound Fortitude (IBF) â€“ IBF reduces all incoming damage by 20%. This percentage is modified by the amount of defense skill the DK has. It increases at an amount equal to approximately 0.143 to 0.15% per point of defense. This means at 540 Defense Skill it will increase to approximately 41%. A DK tank at 600 Defense Skill will increase IBF to approximately 50%. IBF lasts 12 seconds, more if talented. It has a 2 minute cooldown. Glyph is used for PVP.
- Bone Shield (BnS, BS) â€“ Bone Shield reduces all incoming damage by 20%. It lasts for as long as the DK can keep the bones up. When cast you have 3 charges (glyph provides 4 total). Each time the DK is hit 1 charge is taken away. When all the charges are gone (or five minutes passes, whatever first) the spell expires. An Unholy tank that relies on BS usually prizes avoidance as it helps the spell last longer. BS costs 1 unholy rune and is often preloaded prior to pull. It has a 1 minute cooldown.
- Unbreakable Armor (UA) â€“ This ability will increase the armor of the tank by 25% and strength by 10%. The glyph provides more armor. It has a 1 minute cooldown. It is possible (again) to reach the armor cap by using this ability, so be aware of that.
- Will of the Necropolis (WotN) â€“ This ability will decrease incoming hits by 15%, provided the following is satisfied (assuming 3 points):
- If the DK is hit when his health is below 35% -OR-
- If the hit (pre-reduction in damage) would take the DK below 35%
Without getting into too much detail, Dodge cap is 88%, Parry cap is 47% and Miss cap is 16%. All three are affected by diminishing returns, which means it is virtually impossible to max even one out to the cap. For gearing, all you need to know is Dodge > Parry > Miss.
Defense and Avoidance
Most tanks will stack defense to get to 540 then be done. From that point, they are busy gearing for stamina and threat (hit and expertise). However, sometimes you get a piece of gear that will put you over that cap and for comparison sakes, can't figure out what is better. In this matter, it is generally agreed upon that the following holds true for avoidance stats:
Dodge > Parry > Miss
They break down further based on diminishing returns, but this is a rough outline. Ideally, stacking one far over the other doesn't work as well as a tank that is balanced (ratio-wise) to the formula above. In the current patch Blizzard has equaled the values so the same amount of rating gets the same percentage. Please note however, that these are PRIOR to diminishing returns. Because of the cap differences, Dodge still scales better then parry.
Basically it breaks down like this at level 80 (again, before diminishing returns):
45.25 dodge rating = 1% dodge chance
45.25 parry rating = 1% parry chance
For a breakdown of defense at level 80:
4.91850 defense rating = 1 defense skill
122.9625 defense rating = 25 def skill = 1% miss/dodge/parry chance = 3% avoidance
122.9625/3 = 40.9875 defense rating hence equals 1% avoidance
40.9875 defense rating = 8.333 skill (as a comparison)
For gearing purposes, it looks like this at level 80:
40.9875 defense rating = 1% avoidance (broken up into .333% dodge, parry and miss, respectively)
45.25 dodge rating = 1% dodge chance
45.25 parry rating = 1% parry chance
Prior to patch 3.2, stacking dodge was preferable to Defense as point for point a tank got more avoidance out of it. However, since the normalization of Dodge and Parry, this seems to be no longer the case. It seems that Defense stacking could become a possible alternative. Defense not only adds to the tank's avoidance, but also pulls double duty by increasing IBF.
However, a few things to remember before going stacking large amounts of Defense:
1. Remember that even though it seems a better investment, this is only on paper at level 80. Diminishing Returns has yet to come into play.
2. Defense avoidance takes a hit from parry DR.
3. Defense avoidance takes a significantly larger hit from miss DR.
In then end, I believe that dodge is still better, unless the tank has stacked so much that the DR curve is really beginning to come into play.
You can find this and more in excellent post by Whitetooth. I also found this post at DK Info that breaks it down into an easy to read, by level comparison. Be warned, however, as I cannot vouch for how updated that information is due to no date on it. It looked okay when I was scanning through it though.
DIMINISHING RETURNS (DR)
What is diminishing returns?
The basic idea is something that you get less and less out of over time. An easy example is the DR on a spell like fear. The first time you cast it on someone, it lasts for 10 secs or so. The next time, 6 seconds. Then 4 then 2 then eventually it doesn't work anymore. Dodge and Parry don't exactly work like this, but the idea is the same. The more you stack, the less each is worth. It works on a curve, so you have to stack a TON of each to even get CLOSE to the cap.
However, it is a well know fact that you can stack dodge higher then you can stack parry. So if you have two pieces of gear that are similar and one has dodge and the other has parry, the one with dodge is worth more then the one with parry. This is because Dodge caps out at 88%, where as Parry is 47%. This means the curve is more aggressive on Parry then Dodge.
See this post from tankspot. It will help explain what diminishing returns are if you really want to get that technical. Bring cookies and a math degree.
Threat (for the tanking newbies) is what keeps the mobs on you and off your healer. Healers donâ€™t like being beat on, and they donâ€™t really have a sense of humor about it. Neither, for that fact, do the DPS which are going to ride your threat for maximum damage.
Threat is created by a couple of things.
1. Damage. Easy enough here, the more damage you do, the more threat you create.
2. Healing. If you heal yourself, you create threat split among all the mobs your tanking at about half per point. Not as good as damage but threat is threat.
3. Abilities. A few abilities create more threat. The first is Frost Presence which increases the threat of ALL your attacks. I shouldnâ€™t have to say that, but youâ€™d be surprised. The second is Death and Decay, which is an AOE attack that creates damage at an increased threat multiplier. The third is rune strike, which does increased damage and threat instead of your normal white swing. A real bargain at 20 rp.
The idea is to do more threat then the rest of the party/raid. Again, seems simple.
Threat can be increased a couple of ways. Getting Hit capped, expertise soft capped, using more increased threat attacks (DnD, RS), and getting a better weapon.
The â€œHit capâ€ is the percent needed for your attacks to not â€œmissâ€. It only functions to push boss â€œmissâ€ off the table. Even when your hit capped you can still be dodged and parried. Hit effects ALL of your attacks as a death knight and is generally capped first due to this.
The hit cap is 8%. At 8%, you will avoid any â€œmissâ€ result for any melee attack. This is for all 2 handed weapons.
The hit cap is broken down by a 5% base chance to miss, then an additional 1% for each level above 80 the mob is. Thus, 8% is the amount you need to hit level 83 mobs.
However, as a Death Knight we also have abilities that function of spell hit. This is a bit hard for some people to wrap their brains around, as the same about of +hit applies to both melee and spell hit yet they are worth different amounts. Examples of DK attacks that function off of spell hit are Icy Touch, Howling Blast, and Death Coil. The percentage you need to be spell hit capped is 17%. Most donâ€™t cap this high, as the 10 to 11% or so that being at 8% melee gives you usually does the job.
For Dual Wield, the percentage to avoid melee miss is something ridiculous like 27%. But DW guy loves his twin weapons because after all, looking cool is whatâ€™s important when youâ€™re staring at boss crotch.
Expertise reduces your chance to be dodged or parried. This is important as each % of expertise essential pushes both off at the same time. However, expertise only affects a few attacks (see list below). Generally the consensus is if you get most of your DPS from those attacks then gearing Expertise is a bit better then hit. However, it is mostly a wash and youâ€™ll want to cap both hit and expertise to get the most threat.
- Blood Strike
- Heart Strike
- Scourge Strike
- Plague Strike
- Auto Attack
Each point of Expertise gives you .25% to avoid being dodged or parried. The number youâ€™re shooting for here is 6.5%, which is the number that pushes boss dodge off the table. In expertise terms, this is around 26 Expertise (found on your character sheet). So if you got a racial bonus of 5, then you only need 21 more. Frost and Unholy give 5 each if you spec that deeply into each tree, and Blood's VotTW gives 6.
If youâ€™re hoping that 6.5% will push boss parry off the table, keep dreaming. Bosses have a lot of parry if they can parry at all, so itâ€™s just not worth gimping everything else to avoid it. But just for reference, boss parry is around 15%.
Other Suggestions for Increasing Threat
- Tighten up your rotations. If youâ€™re just spamming IT thatâ€™s most likely your problem. Good rotations will use different skills and more then one attack for the max amount of damage/threat you can squeeze out of BBFFUU every 10 seconds.
- If youâ€™re not using DnD in your rotations, start. If you already are, try speccing in Morbidity (Unholy), which lets you use DnD every 15 seconds. Some people have a FPS issue with morbidity on certain fights, if your one this may not work for you. But itâ€™s at least worth a shot. DnD is one of our largest threat producers at a 1.9 multiplier (in addition to what we get from Frost Presence).
- Macro RS into all of your attacks so you can use it as much as (inhumanly) possible. With the changes to this ability to increase threat (patch 3.0.8) this is going to be a huge boost for any single target tanking.
If none of those solutions work for you, then time to get a new weapon. Cause otherwise there just isnâ€™t a solution in the game right now.
DUAL WIELD VS TWO HANDED TANKING
The problems of Dual Wield
Increased Hit to be effective
Dual Wield requires more hit (27%). Dual Wield is broken down by the base chance to miss (5%), plus the level difference (3% for level 83), plus 19% additional (considered the two hand penalty) for a total of 27%. Without that hit, all of your attacks will miss more and you will lose threat. Because 2 Handed Tanking requires only 8% (base miss chance + level difference) it is more manageable with the current gear, allowing the tank to focus on defense and avoidance.
Damage on weapon strike abilities not as powerful as 2 hand weapons.
All of our weapon related strikes (like Obliterate, Frost Strike, Plague Strike, Blood Strike, Heart Strike, etc) will do damage based on the weapon. The damage range on a one handed weapon is not as good as a 2 handed weapon. This is because Two handed weapons do more damage per swing compared to One Handed Weapons. Because of this, each time one of those strikes is used with a one handed weapon it does less damage (thus less threat) compared to a DK using a two handed weapon. However, the use of the frost talent ToT helps to offset this.
Increases Boss Parry Haste
Each time a boss parries (or a DK for that matter) there is a chance that the swing timer resets thus decreasing the time between attacks. Not all bosses have Parry Haste (Patchwerk is a good example of one that has Parry Haste disabled), but most will. Although it is not considered as big a problem in current content, it is considered a larger problem for raiding guilds doing progression kills. This is because parry haste can increase the DKs incoming damage which makes problems for healers. A couple of these unfortunate Parry Haste attacks can spike damage on the tank. This could have unfortunate consequences that could wipe the raid if the tank goes down.
Dual Wielding Advice
Dual Wielding does have some solid following and is somewhat viable. Its main problem (beside the minor ones above) is the weapon selection. "Tanking" one handers all have a very fast speed, and to get the most out of ToT strikes one would need to wield two slow swing speed one handers. Because these don't exist in the game, DW usually produces less threat, although it is been improved since the start.
Keep in mind that these are basic specs, and can easily be switched about. Specs strike me a bit like snowflakes, everyone's going be different. But these are good places to start.
Deep Frost AOE Build 15/51/5
This build uses HB and BB for AOE tanking and can hold threat on Single Target using OB. I've added the HB glyph, as in my opinion the extra GCD you get by not having to apply FF then use a rune for no damage but to just spread the disease (Pest) is priceless. For single target you can set up as HB>OB>BS>BS||OB>OB>OB||OB>OB>BS>BS (repeat) and rely on the rime procs to keep FF up, while using FS to dump when you need to. For AOE tanking, HB>BB>BB should cement the mobs on you. If you need a bit more, drop the last BB in that rotation and put up DnD instead.
Although it doesn't have the pure Effective Heath as Blood does, it makes up for such a lack by taking less damage and having more avoidance. In all, a very effective spec.
Frost Duel Wield Build 12/54/5
With the new talent ToT, Frost can actually make Duel Wield a bit more viable then what it was previously. However, it is still being tested against the more popular two handed builds to determine if its addition is enough to raise duel wield tanking from the dead.
Basically, there are two main Blood builds. Those that run DRM, and those that do not.
DRM spec 52/8/11
Important things to note. DRM spec mainly uses a IT>PS>DS>HS>HS\\DS>HS>HS>HS>HS type rotation, spamming HS in single target and using the extra death runes for BB in AOE threat. Non DRM spec trades DRM for Rune Tap. Mileage may vary. I use the DRM spec and find it quite flexible while still retaining good threat on both single target and AOE targets. Non DRM is more single target oriented (no BB spam) and uses a more conventional IT>PS>DS>HS>HS\\DS>DS>HS>HS type rotation. Those that like to have rune tap often leave one blood rune up just in case they need to use it.
Other points on the blood talents. Necrosis is point-for-point a larger threat talent then both Subversion and Sudden Death. However, its hard to get points in there unless you want to gimp IIT. A tank should put points into ITT unless they have a raid member who can provide a speed debuff. Otherwise you'll find yourself taking more damage. This is generally reserved for 25 man raids that can usually provide that debuff. 10 man is sketchy at best.
This makes use of the new Unholy talents introduced in patch 3.2. Single target threat should be better then it was previously. This build does a lot of shadow damage between Death Coil, Scourge Strike, Death and Decay, and the new Unholy Blight, thus the addition of Black Ice.
Rotations and Priorities
Each build has an optimal rotation. Usually with a post of a build the poster will include what kind of rotation he uses. Ideally, the rotations would maximize damage and threat for that particular build. However, even hit/expertise capped you will never push off boss parry of the table, so chances of hitting with every attack and never losing time in a rotation is slim.
Basically, DK tanking requires that you pay attention to what is going on around you and adapt when necessary. This is not an easy task. Thus, there really is no perfect rotation.
Most of the time it will run on priorities.
Priorities will be things like, keeping diseases up, DnD down, diseases spread to all mobs, top aoe or single target damage when it is up, rune strikes when they are up and a runic power dump when all of those other things are satisfied.
Remember, rotations are easy when you don't miss. The closer you are to hit cap and expertise soft cap, the easier it becomes.
Improved Icy Talons vs Windfury
Improved Icy Talons will increase the melee haste of your raid by 20%. However, it is generally agreed upon that this is a waste of 6 points in the frost tree. Why? Because Shaman's totems affect everyone in the raid and thus, it is a complete waste of points when a raid can bring one shaman who drops the one windfury totem. And no, Icy Talons and Windfury do not stack. Haste has been improved for DK's but it is still not a stat you should actively go after until you get threat capped.
For tanking, the most useful macro you can have is one that Macro's in Rune Strike. What it does is it will light up rune strike if it is available while doing the other ability.
[INDENT]#showtooltip /cast Blood Strike /cast !Rune Strike[/INDENT]
Just replace "Blood Strike" with whatever ability you want to combine with. Be careful, however, as this DOES make it easier to keep doing Rune Strike as much as possible, it will drain your RP. So if you have to keep RP back for IBF, mind freeze, or Unholy Blight for those adds you are expecting, this could make your life more difficult.
You can find more Death Knight Macros here at WoWWiki. Some of these have uses.... others I think are a waste. They are here if you want them though.
Ideally, Rune of Swordshattering is the best avoidance wise. Its 4% to parry is the best avoidance you can get in a single rune.
Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle gives you 25 defense skill and 2% health. 25 Defense equals 1% dodge, 1% parry and 1% miss. This rune, like swordshattering, is NOT effected by Diminishing Returns. Let me repeat that. BOTH SG AND SWORDSHATTERING ARE NOT EFFECTED BY DIMINISHING RETURNS.
However, remember that if you use SG youâ€™ll only get "extra" avoidance over and above what you would normally have at 540 defense if you stay above 540 defense. Ie, if you use the SG just to hit 540, you would have the same avoidance as anyone else at 540 without a rune on their weapon. Someone with 540 defense and rune of swordshattering would have 4% more parry then you, thus they would have more avoidance. However, if you have SG and can keep your defense at 565, then you would have only 1% less avoidance then the former.
Other points to remember: Swordshattering is parry, so it works only when your facing the mob, where as SG gives you miss, which function in all directions. Dodge does not function in all directions, it only does so for Mobs. Some use SG to regem for threat. If you want to go in that direction, remember you have to keep your defense at 565 if you want to be as close in avoidance as 540 with swordshattering.
Rune of Stoneskin Gargoyle is good if you want to swap out some pieces of gear. Its also helpful for new tanks trying to reach the def cap. SG is only as good as what you put with it to regear or regem. The comparison most people make is that it is 1% avoidance vs 2% stamina. However, what they don't tell you is this comparison is made at two different defense levels. Its actually 1% avoidance at 540 defense vs 2% stamina at 565 defense. The rune does free up some gear so if you can make up the difference and it works for you, go with it.
Rune of Spellshattering is not an option just yet as the content has not warranted its use yet. It is situational at best, and if a DK needs it all a raid needs is a soul shard to summon him back from his Death Gate. With the addition of patch 3.3, there is now a 1 handed version of this rune.
Defense to at least 540 should be the priority of any tank.
After that, Tanks should gear for avoidance and threat, all while trying to increase effective health.
Stamina is the name of the game for effective health. In your quest to hit def cap, then respective hit and expertise caps, you should constantly be trying to find more stamina when you can. Because all the avoidance and mitigation in the world isn't going to help you if you can't take a few hits.
Other then that, Strength is also important. For Death Knights, it's important for a couple of reasons. The first being it will increase your damage. Remember, more damage equals more threat. The second is that it will increase your chance to parry through deflection.
Maxing those should keep you busy. I guess if your looking for something else it would be agility, which ups dodge and crit, but it should not be a priority in any way.
Stamina vs Avoidance
One of the arguments in the tanking circles that rages back and forth is stamina vs avoidance. Specifically, is stuffing all available gem slots with 41 stam gems and enchanting for stam better then using avoidance gems?
There are a few things to keep in mind here when considering gearing choices such as this.
More Stamina does not make you a better tank. The only thing more stamina does is provide you with more hit points which gives healers more room for error and the time to get those larger heals off. A tank that values stamina over avoidance also would take more damage which can test healers mana reserves.
Avoidance (or hit/expertise, depending on how you gem) does make you a better tank. Avoidance decreases the amount of damage you take in the form of missed attacks. Hit and expertise increases threat so DPS can hit harder. However, without enough stamina, a bad string of avoidance or a few lucky hits can wipe the raid. Not to mention you shrink that margin of error so healers may be using shorter, less mana efficient heals and run the risk of OOM from sheer volume.
My point here is one is not better then the other. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong. There is no way to quantify (for a numerical comparison) stamina other then the max hit points a DK has. The best geared tanks will be ones that strive for balance over one side or the other.
- Very useful, especially for tanking. Being able to call on a blood rune without penalty is very nice. For dps this is less of a concern.
- Extra 60 seconds means less refreshing.
- Easily the most useful minor glyph. 5 extra yards on Pest is a godsend for AOE tanking or dps.
- Generally not useful for tanking.
- Not extremely useful. Unless you have an elaborate macro where you cast Lichborne then Death Coil on yourself.... at that point I think its just reaching. But if its something you do often, have at it.
- Becoming more useful for dps. Also helpful for AOE tanking that uses CE.
- Generally considered a waste of a glyph. If you aren't hit capped it is useful, but once at the hit cap, this glyph does essentially nothing
- Excellent glyph for increasing threat. Blood tanking finds the most use, and some Unholy.
- Extremely useful tanking glyph. 20% more damage on an ability that already has a 1.9 threat modifier means more threat for free. Less useful for DPS as there are better glyphs for more damage.
- Use of this glyph saves the DK from having to reapply disease every 15 secs. Useful for shaving GCD when multi-mob tanking.
Frost Tanking Specific
- Great for Frost tanking (additional threat) and DPS. Less RP used translates to more of these strikes, RS or whathaveyou.
- Increases damage of frost fever by 20%
- Any build (not just frost) that relies heavily on Obliterate will find this glyph useful. Great for tanks and DPS.
- Increases the armor bonus gained by this ability by 30%
- Similar to glyph of disease as this will shave GCD's by not having to apply FF then spread it with pest.
- This makes IBF reduce 30%, regardless of defense skill (which increases it). It is not added to the defense amount. With this glyph is 30% (provided by glyph) OR 40% (provided by defense) whichever is higher.
Blood Tanking Specific
- 1% more damage based on runic power up to 25%. Since the buffs to DS, this is a good glyph if your build relies on DS over OB.
- Extra healing is never bad. Extra healing on the entire group means more threat for the tank, divided among the mobs of course. Good for tanks that like using Rune Tap.
- 5 seconds helps keep this active longer. Less useful then glyphs that bump threat but still viable.
Unholy Tanking Specific
- Increased AMS by 2 seconds. If you need it alot (Sarth3D) this one can be useful.
- Hands down the best glyph in slot for any Unholy Tank.
- Good for unholy tanks and unholy dps that actually use PS. Now that PS hits harder, this makes appying the disease more desirable.
- Used to be very powerful, but now just extends diseases.
- Good for not just Unholy DPS, but tanking as well. Heavy Unholy builds use Death Coil as a rune power dump, so increasing damage will also increase threat.
- Increases damage of UB for more threat.
- Not often will you find this useful outside of a PVP setting
- Again, mainly a PVP glyph
- It is not often in PVE content that you get a killing blow before the 35 sec cd timer is up anyway. Mainly for PVP.
- Again, good for PVP.
- Good for PVP and perhaps unholy DPS if you find your ghoul stays alive.
- More for DPS utility then tanking as DRW does not add to threat.
- Mainly Blood PVP utility.
- Its HC. For free.
Guide to Tanking Gems (by slot)
The following is a guide to the various gems that are useful for tanking separated by slot color. This way, if you have a piece of gear that has a red and a yellow slot, you can simply index this list and see what gems would be the most useful, depending on your gear selection. Some of the explanations are a bit rudimentary, but for those of you who are having trouble with the pop feature can see quickly what each is about.
- +str = more damage (threat) and parry thru deflection
- Less useful due to the harsh DR of parry
- if you are a blood tank and find a lot of this on your gear.
- Good way to get expertise capped to add to your threat
- Dodge makes for the best in slot avoidance gem
- Not the best (parry has harsh DR) but adds Stam as well
- Stam and expertise for hp and threat.
- Best in slot avoidance/stam gem
- Str and Stam for threat/hp
- Hit and expertise for threat. Great replacement for when you don't need straight +def gems any longer
- Str and def
- Str and hit
- parry and def
- str and expertise
- Dodge and Defense make for a potent avoidance gem if you only need a few more points of +def
- its added stamina to give healers more room for error. 'Nuff said.
- for when you need just a bit more def without sacrificing Stam
- extra hit and stam
- Hit rating for more threat
- Defense rating if you need a bit more to reach the cap.
- One of the best tanking meta gems out there. Easy Gem cost.
- Good increase in stam and a reduction in spell damage if you expect to take a lot (Sarth3D maybe?)
- Okay if you find yourself getting stunned alot
- Better version of the above gem
First and foremost, you need something to be able to watch threat. For that, there is no better mod then Omen.
Second, you may find it a huge help to have something that helps keep track of runes better. For that I suggest either Simple Rune or Runewatch. I prefer Simple Rune, but Runewatch is a good one too.
Recount is good for keeping track of dps and hps for those times you need to assign people to different tasks.
See Sunoâ€™s excellent thread on raid tanking. There you will find more specialized specs, advice and debate about current end game tanking.