Tanking Pet Peeves, Random alt stuff and Healing Not Memes… Where is the tanking not meme?

First, I want to draw everyone’s attention to this post about Tanking Pet Peeves over at Druid Main.  Even though my main tank is a dk rather than a bear, I can totally relate to this post.  My hubby, the pally, can relate to it as well, so I think it’s an excellent post overall about the random things people can do to tick us off and/or make tanking for them more difficult.

I’ve noticed the healing NOTMeme floating around there… someone should so start a tanking notmeme…  I’m just sayin’!

I’ve been helping the hubby do the Grand Arena Master Trinket thing in STV this week. It’s been so easy that I’m quite tempted to go do it on my death knight.

There have been some epic Wintergrasp battles and saves these last few days. I managed to get my priest in another Voa 10/25 – as the only priest. Of course, not a priest thing dropped 😛

My druid and mage got the Hallowed title, just from trick or treating to get the last ‘Sinister’ item they needed. I really want the title on priest as that would suit her, but I’m still waiting on the helm. I really think this achievement should either be – either/or OR make the squashling and helm BoA and require equipping the helm and learning the pet. I’ve wasted 4 squashlings from ToT because the toons in question already had them. But eh, they didn’t ask my opinion on that 😛

The warrior is coming along quite well… He’s almost level 40. My hubby thinks I can get him to 80 within a month, so I’m almost tempted to try it. Leveling is easy mode now – especially since this is my tenth toon and I have discovered a wonderful thing call Alterac Valley at level 51!  Hubby just got his second paladin up to the AV levels and he loves the experience there [he wants a ret pally and he’s finding it easier to roll another pally than to try to develop a ret set on his tankadin… and he’s leveling ret – to learn it better].

Some Random, Some Coming Attractions…

Random loot drama, alt achievements and such.

First of all, there was a loot issue in our raid this past weekend.  Up till now we never had issues with SuicideKings, even from out of guildies, because more often than not, they’d get something simply because all our people had it… you “pay your dues” into the system by going a week or two and you’re guaranteed to get something because eventually you’ll be number 1 on the list.  Anyway, suffice to say, what happened was one of the out of guildies attempted to exploit our loot system and guarantee his buddy got something, which didn’t work and he got all pissy and essentially said we should do /rolls because they’re more fair [they aren’t].  I ended up with the loot, and I LOVE the new sword, but I still feel pretty bad about the whole mess because I DON’T like loot drama.  At all.  I’ll probably do a post on this soon, when I feel more like discussing it.  Loot drama always makes me queasy, especially when it unwittingly involves me [and I did actually offer to pass on the item I NEEDED to keep the peace, but the loot master refused – and I do agree with him, simply because we need to keep the system uncompromised so it is fair].

And it didn’t help that a guildie is constantly worrying and fretting over me getting “his loot” on alt runs in kara, etc.  That only adds to the frustration.  Do I want to gear my alts?  Sure.  Do I NEED to?  No.  Am I going to feel obligated to pass everything to someone on an all guildie ALT run?  No – especially not when he walked out of there with 2 tier pieces [and in point of fact, I passed on several upgrades whose stats were not suitable to my mage – no mp5 tyvm].  Given enough time, they’ll all be geared well enough to do pug runs of most stuff, though I seriously doubt any of them will see Ulduar/ToC/Ony25 at all and few will see the 10 mans of those.

On the positive side, besides the Sharpened Obsidian Blade from Ony25, I also won a trophy in ToC25 [all instances have different SKG lists] and bought my dk the 9.5 tanking shoulders.  I still can keep the 8.5 set bonus which is awesome!  And I’ll be saving up for more 9.5 pieces.  The tier 9 set bonus won’t do me much good honestly, and the stats aren’t an upgrade [in fact they’d sit me below the hit cap if I just replace one piece].

I also finished Classic Dungeonmaster on Kintara [the priest] this morning.  And the warrior is now a proud level 26!  I’m bumming around today doing dailies in between chores and such.  I did do a few PVP achievements on my dk this morning… They do love having a tank in the battlegrounds I notice 😀

Perils of tanking on an alt…

I have 3 toons with tank spec – my dk who is my main, my paladin who is probably more often prot than ret and my druid who I abhor tanking on.  I haven’t blogged about this incident before, because it predated creation of my blog by a few weeks but the newest post over at Confessions of a Girl Gamer reminded me of it.

3 people in my guild were looking for a heroic toc run for a few items and they needed a tank and healer.  My Death Knight needed nothing, so I said that I could bring my paladin tank and attempt to tank it.  I’d been told that she was ready for Ulduar-10 easily, so I wasn’t too worried.  They pugged a healer [their first mistake].

We finished the jousting without a hitch, then the druid healer we’d picked up proceeded to instruct me on every minute action I should take as tank.  I was amused at first, then just tuned her out.  I have little patience for micro managers when it comes to my tanking… especially non-tanks.  She was also going on and on about how awesome a toc25 healer she was.  I glance at her gear… level 200 epics and blues.  Yeah.  Right.  Just heal the bloody instance.

And we proceed to start in on a wipefest.  After three of them, the druid starts in on how awesome a healer she is and how it can’t possibly be her fault… I don’t have enough health and I take too much damage.

“Fine.  I’ll go get Askevar.  BRB” and I handed lead to one of the guildies.

I walk back in as an Ulduar 25 geared DK tank with the undying title.  She didn’t say another word.  At all.  And my elemental shammy guildie was having to throw heals to keep me topped off because the druid either couldn’t or wouldn’t heal… though she was running out of mana really really fast…

DW Tanking: Trial By Fire

Our raid group had a bit of trouble with Ulduar25 tonight – everyone has their off weeks.  We had a lot of new people coming in [which is GREAT but it does cause more problems of course, only natural].  We had a lot of trouble with Ignis.  On the final attempt, I swapped to dual wield to get more threat faster and it turns out, I’m even hardier in dual wield spec than 2h… I sacrifice about 2k health and gain 3k armor and some dodge and parry.

In summation, DW tanking is entirely and awesomely viable.

More later – AFTER the raid 😛

Dual Wield Tanking Test 1: Ulduar 10

Our ten man group ran Ony10, ToC10 [first 2 bosses] and then hit Ulduar.  Since our team only raids one night, we’ll be extending the Ulduar ID to give ourselves more time to work on it.  I didn’t want to risk gimping the raid with an untried spec in the new raids, but felt I could afford to skimp a little in Ulduar.

It went very well.  My threat was higher on average and I was still plenty hardy as well.  The healers had no issues at all.  I’m considering holding off until I can get the 1h gargoyle runes in the next patch because my current spec is solid.  I have higher avoidance, am handily capped expertise wise and hitwise, and higher health pool.  Even got a PINK AXE on Ony that no one else could really use.  It’s soooo pretty!

*In reality I wasn’t going into Ulduar blind – I knew the DW spec was viable.

Experiments in Dual Wield Frost Tanking as a DK

Dual Wield Frost Tanking as a Death Knight is an idea that’s fascinated me for a bit now, especially since frost DW dps was made viable [and I subsequently made my dps spec – dw frost which suited me better than blood or unholy].

I just took a look at the Elitist Jerks thread here on DW tanking builds and copied the spec,  save 2 points I elected to reallocate so I’ll be testing it out in heroics for threat.  I was able to sub in an old 226 crafted belt in place of my 232 ToC10 one and resocket it solid defense to hit the cap.  I don’t want to mess up my raiding gear until I’m sure I want to go dual wield for tanking.  I stayed hit capped and close to the expertise cap with 28% dodge and 18% parry for the moment.  Like I said, I’m loathe to ruin my raid gear until I’m sure.  For raids I’ll be staying with my old trusty 2h Inevitable  Defeat [Ignis, you better drop Worldcarver soon… srsly].

Not sure I’m going to be tanking today.  Bit tired and such, but I’ll get it tested soon and will of course update you on the results.

Quick and Dirty Way to 540!

I promised in my comprehensive list that I’d post a quick guide to hitting 540. Hubby [the protpally] and I sat down and spent about 30 minutes crunching a few numbers and tried to maximize the defense and crafted gear available.

Here’s a quick and dirty way to hit 540 defense.

HELM: Tempered Titansteel Helm
SHOULDERS – Tempered Saronite Shoulders
CHESTPIECE – Tempered Saronite Chestpiece
BRACERS – Tempered Saronite Bracers
GLOVES – Daunting Handguards
BELT – Tempered Saronite Belt
PANTS – Bolstered Legplates – HVH
BOOTS – Tempered Titansteel Treads

These items plus the Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle get you to a solid 533 defense. If you gem and enchant the gear for defense, or get the Titanium Earthguard Ring OR Chain, you should easily be good and ready to hit some heroics, gearwise.

Pre-Triumph Comprehensive WotLK Level 80 Gearing List for Death Knight Tanks

With the number of up and coming DKs and Pallytanks in guild asking for advice, spam on trade asking DKtanking questions and such, I thought I’d make a list of gearing recommendations. If you have issues getting def-capped, I highly recommend rolling a dps spec to get through some heroics at least and roll offset on some of the gear [or hey, badges are easy now]. It puts you in a position where you need to give priority to the tank obviously, but if you’re up front about wanting to become a tank and be very agreeable to letting the tank have dibs [if they even need it], you’ll get a lot further and the tank may defer gear to you that’s better suited for you… Eh you never know. I dps’ed to get my tanking gear, and it’s much easier now with the 226 level badge gear.

This is a list of all the dungeon/crafted/badge gear you realistically have access to as a DK [excludes triumph badge gear – if you’re to that point, I seriously doubt you need this list lol], with links to wowhead.  These are the upgrades you can look for.  But it is unlikely you can step into H-ToC immediately as a tank, so keep that in mind.  Gearing up as a tank is a process of balancing all your stats and finding the right mix.

This is just a list of all the gear I could find from craftables/rep rewards/heroics/badges.  I’ll be doing a “Quick and Dirty Way to hit 540” post in a bit.
Continue reading “Pre-Triumph Comprehensive WotLK Level 80 Gearing List for Death Knight Tanks”

Gearing a DK Tank: My story

My death knight was never created with the idea of tanking in mind. She was played and leveled unholy till she hit 80 and was basically going to sit there and be my Jewelcrafter and Inscriptionist. I was beating my head on the wall trying to make my warlock “work” in our [hubby and me] Naxx10 run. We had one tank end up committing to tank the other naxx10, and then the second tank was out of guild and just hadn’t made his guild’s run that week and then we had a semi-reliable tank for a couple weeks till he left guild and my hubby was getting particularly frustrated with trying to fill that spot every week, so I suggested we gear up my death knight to fill the spot. I hated my warlock anyway and didn’t give a rip if she got geared by that point.

We got her to 540 defense easily enough. Hubby [protpally] being a maxed blacksmith helped. My dk could also make herself the nice Jewelcrafter gems as well as the tanking ring and necklace. We then looked for ways to increase my mitigation. Rune Strike was a major threat attack and requires dodge/parry-ing an attack. The guild’s other DK tank kept telling me to stack stam and ignore other stats.

Incidently, there seems to be those two schools of thought with regard to gearing tanks – the school of “Moar Stam” and the school of “Balanced Stats”. Hubby came from the “Balanced Stats” school and therefore so did I. Expertise cap [26] came quickly with gear – no needing to fret over it, though I may have just gotten the “right” gear mix as other dk tanks have told me how insanely hard it is to hit expertise cap. Hit cap [263] came a bit after that – again, naturally with gear and a couple pieces of gemming.

As hubby puts it, I geared like a paladin [with some focus on dodge/parry mitigation – no block of course :P]. I had less health than slightly lesser geared tanks, but I could also take more hits before going down.

Now I’m at 555 defense [no gems, only head and shoulder tanking chants],  30% dodge, 20% parry, and 10 man raid buffed I’m hitting 42.9k health [over 45k if I use that brewfest 170 stam trinket :P]. So the stam has actually worked itself out with gearing as well 😛

Anyway, in summation, I recommend working on balancing stats rather than putting all your eggs in the “Moar Stam” basket. It’ll mean you have less health to start with, but you’ll be tougher and if you pay attention, and are selective with gear, you can have a better balance overall and problematic stats will sort themselves out, at least for the death knight [I cannot speak for other tanking classes in this regard].