DK Tanking, a starter guide from 58
This is a post to share my thoughts on relearning to tank on a DK and hopefully share a few tips and tricks I pick up along the way.
My character is a Night Elf Death Knight with a Blood Tank/Blood PvP spec.
after getting out of the starting area I picked up Herbalism. At 1 skill it gives 5 haste for 20 secconds, I just macro it into my main attack so its up when its off cooldown.
These will make your life much easier.
Blood Boil: +50% radius on your Blood Boil.
Bone Shield: +15% movement when your shield is up. Great for PvE/PvP.
Death Strike: +2% Damage for every 5 runic power you posess upto +40% at 100.
Heart Strike: +30% damage to Heart Strike.
If you cant find these glyphs just pick up what you can. Glyphed abilities are almost always better than ungyphed.
Go to the Ah and click on the consumables section and see what you can pick up for cheapish. Enchanted gear is always better than unenchanted after all. Especally look for the BC armor kits as they can add a signifigant amount of stamina to your gear.
See if you can find 'Of the Champion' gear for Rings, neck, cloak. The cloak being the least important as you will probly see a tanking cloak later.
So with some enchants and glyphs I tanked a couple of instances.
Remembering the horrors of 58 DKs trying to tank I wasnt enthused at the idea but I gave it a whirl, and it works surprising well if you fight smart.
First Mark your target, you will do enough Cleave and AoE damage so that other mobs beyond the first arent too much fo an issue. If they are just toss out an X. I use two macros for that.
Skull: /run SetRaidTarget("target", 8)
X: /run SetRaidTarget("target", 7)
A basic pull on melee mobs should go something like this:
Make sure Bone Shield is up.
Icy Touch the mob this slows its atatck speed by 20% and gets you inital agro. If his buddies arrive with him immediatly use Pestilence to spread it to them. Heart Strike to hit 3 targets and gain area agro or Blood Boil if theres 4+. Then Death strike for a bit of healing.
This is a rough strategy but it should keep things on you and not on the healer or DPS. Mostly. If you run into someone who just insists on tanking mobs dont sweat it. Point out your taunt (Death Grip) has a 30 seccond cooldown and let them die if they dont learn.
Then I moved on to PvP. The 2-H weapon for the 60 pvp is cheap at 290 honor and better than the DK starting weapon.
DK-: DPS 60.5 30Str 24Sta 12hit
PvP: DPS 77.4 26Str 41Sta 14Crit
An additional benefit is you end up finishing off 59 and dinging 60 at roughly the point you get the 290 honor. There are other minor upgrades in PvP but this is the golden ring since DKs lack a 60 PvP armorset.
Also at 60 you get Death and Decay. It isnt quite the be all end all to tanking it used to be but if you use it when you hae to face 4+ mobs you will find its bonus threat very handy.
Now I tankd Blood Furnace and Ramparts till I got the socketed boots (Ramparts) and gloves (Blood Furnace). I tried to get the belt but it didnt drop so I didnt stress over it. At 62 I'll get a quest belt.
Agro wasnt too terrible and my survivability was decent as long as I wasnt too agressive. Other than one pull where I let the mobs wash behind me and I just exploded I made it through without dying.
At 61 go to Zangermarsh and get the socketed help from the cenarion expedition quest [Saving the Sporeloks] (You have to do [The Umbrafen Tribe] first. Gem it and armor kit it and back into the instances.
Ive tanked Slave Pens and Underbog. in the slave pens you have a tanking cloak and socketed chest to try and get (and some decent legs). The Underbog has its own tank cloak, socketed pants, 2(!) Socketed shoulders.
A special mention for the [Hatebringer] 2-h mace from Underbog. It is able to be socketed to be a superior tanking weapon than your 2-h sword.
When you hit 62 head to Zangermarsh and get the Orebor Harborage quests for the Kurenai. When you have finished them you will ding friendly and be able to pick up [The Terror of Marshlight Lake] and get a very nice socketed tanking belt.
Also at 62 you get your oh ship damage reduction ability [Icebound Fortitude] make certain to train that, and the tanking weapon runeforge at 63.
Thats as far as Ive gotten, Ill post more as I explore more of the leveling. DKs are feeling at this level about like my warrior does. More freeform than paladins not as hard as a druid.