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Blood Tank w/ Necrotic Plague

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Has anyone given this any serious consideration and/or trial use? 

 

I know maintaining stacks of 15 is a pipe dream without Festering Strike, but I'm looking at it more from a standpoint of more RP generation = more Death Coils = more Blood Tap = more Death Strike, not to mention more stacks of Shadow of Death.

 

I've mostly stuck with Defile in BRF Heroics largely based on the number of fights that have lots of relatively minor adds that can be made stationary(ish), but I'm curious if the above rationale for Necrotic Plague outweighs what Defile brings to the table.

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Cant you maintain them easily with plague bearer?

 

I also want to know if NP is ok, but have in mind that defile has a damage reduction which is the first thing for tanks.

Edited by Nikolai

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Plaguebearer adds 1 stack to NP, it does not extend the duration.

 

You could go for NP when you feel your RP generation is too low, but that is rarely the case. Unless you are assigned to tank swarms of adds (Thogar, Darmac and Furnace), you will probably not feel the difference. Most bosses swing every 1.5 - 2s: that translates as 1 - 1.33 RP per second, which hardly beats your passive generation.

 

NP also costs you 2 GCDs every minute, because you cannot extend it, like Unholy DKs can. You can ofc use Plague Leech the moment it is about to expire. The difference is that with NP you kind of have to do it, to get 2 free runes, while with standard diseases you have the option not to, without losing any survivability or dps.

 

From dps point of view, tank's NP is inferior to Defile. The reason is that every 30 seconds NP needs to build up all again to 15 stacks. It goes fast, because of spammy nature of BB, but not nearly as efficient as necroblight UH DKs who cast it in the beginning and for the rest of the fight just extend it. Defile hits like a truck instantly.

 

Defensive gains (some elementary school maths):

 

NP gives you 30 runic power in 15 swings made at you. From a single enemy swinging once every 1.5 seconds you get this amount in 22.5 seconds. 30 RP spent (say on 1 Death Coil or glyphed Outbreak) give you 2 Blood Tap charges (or 45% chance to trigger RE or RC). For just 1 Death Strike, you need 10 Blood Tap charges turned into 2 runes - this is gained in 112.5 seconds (22.5*5)

 

TLDR:

 

Necrotic Plague gives you 1 free Death Strike every 112.5 seconds (almost 2 minutes), when you are swung at by single boss. This time is divided by the number of affected enemies attacking you. It is also different if they attack faster or slower, but 1.5s swing timer is very common.

 

Defile gives you 33% uptime on 10% damage reduction, or - if you prefer - 10% reduction cooldown for a big attack that comes every 30-40 seconds, no matter how many enemies you are tanking.

 

Breath of Sindragosa gives you huge reduction to any spell damage ability that comes every 2 minutes, no matter how many enemies you are tanking. This amount depends on how many of your party members are affected by the spell damage and if they have any reductions available. If you have at least 10 people in the team and everybody takes full spell damage, Mark of Sindragosa causes 100% of damage done to you be immediatelly healed back up.

Edited by simpetar

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Thanks Simpetar. That was a tremendous breakdown. It's interesting to read the numbers in a more "raw" form rather than just a "feel" standpoint from being in a raid.

 

As for Sin's Breath, I've tried it on Kromag during the Stone Breath attacks, but it felt like the pooling of RP to such an extent to optimize SB's use was counter-intuitive, particularly in a fight where I feel like I'm spiking all over the place damage-taken-wise and the DC dump > Shadow of Death > Blood Tap > Death Strike combo seems more necessary than it might in something like Oregorger.

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On Kromog, I would stick to Defile. As a tank, you are in the biggest danger of dying when you have 2+ stacks and possibly Slam incoming. DKs are slowpokes by default, which makes moving away from Slam a nightmare. Melee attacks and slam are physical damage: BoS will not help there, Defile will. Stone Breath can be countered with AMS and Glyph of Regenerative Magic. You will not catch all of them, but a great majority.

 

On Oregorger, your responsibility is to reduce damage on you from Acid Torrent proactively. Rune Tap, Defile, (glyphed) Icebound Fortitude, Bone shield, all of these do this. BoS does not do that. When you rely only on BoS alone, you do not mitigate the damage you or raid gets, so your group will die. You will be at full health, because 10% of damage done to them will be healed back to you. And then you will die, because not even DK can solo Oregorger, and everybody will hate you for letting them die.

 

P.S. stacking Shadow of Death and Vampiric Blood will not help with mitigating Acid Torrent by default. If you have 4p17, they will however. The amount will be small, do not rely on that alone, but every little bit helps (and VB can be somewhat spammed with 2p).

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Yeah I should have been more clear in what I was saying. I meant to say that Oregorger's general damage wasn't enough to make me feel the pressing need to pump all available RP into DCs the way that the spikey damage of Kromog tends to, not that I was using BoS against Acid Torrent.

I do appreciate the breakdown of Necrotic Plague, though. It's unfortunate that it seems to be rather lackluster for Blood. Given the general mechanics of it (as is), it almost seems like a cruel joke offering it to Blood spec when it does inferior damage and can't be extended in any possible way, effectively leaving you with a talent that isn't even really a viable choice under almost any circumstances.

 

My guild is 7/10 HM BRF and has stalled on Iron Maidens. We haven't made any Blast Furnace attempts and, obviously, haven't seen even Black Hand (not even on Normal) and I'm just curious if you've come across any of the fights like Blast Furnace or Black Hand (or anywhere else) where BoS really does jump to the forefront in effectiveness? 

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I found a bit of a niche use for Necrotic Plague + Unholy Blight as Blood for Kromog. Blight's cooldown matches up almost perfectly with the hands, and even as a tank if you pop dancing rune weapon, blight, and spam blood boil you'll do nearly as much aoe dps as any unholy DK or boomkin for ~10 seconds. It can be very helpful if your group is lacking in aoe dps.

 

From a dps perspective though on any other high aoe fight (operator, beast, furnace) You'd be better of with Breath of Sindragosa if your goal is min/maxing tank dps. or just sticking with defile and regular diseases if you want something that's never really a "wrong" choice.

 

From a defensive perspective it's really a personal choice between the three. the runic power generation from necrotic is nice, especially if you're being hit by multiple targets, but defensively whatever you're doing with that RP probably won't be as helpful as 10% reduced damage from all targets. Also using plague leech becomes a little bit more difficult to time and if you clip the last 1-2 ticks of necrotic plague you're wasting a lot of it's damage, and in an aoe/cleave situation you can't plague leech one target and then spread diseases back with a single blood boil. so there's likely to be a little bit of a dps loss there.

 

The heal from Breath of Sindragosa could be powerful in the right situation, but in my opinion BoS is obviously most powerful offensively for AoE, but there aren't a lot of adds doing mass magical damage, so defensively it would be best used on a boss during a large aoe magic attack, which would basically heal you to full from the damage.

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I personally use Defile during all BRF fights except Flamebender. Flamebender is an exemplary encounter, where BoS really shines - even to an extent when it can be solo tanked (at least on normal and heroic). With careful planning, smart use of AMS, PL, ERW and some luck (i.e. multistrikes), you can maintain BoS for a minute or even more, during which time dog breath, Firestorm and stacks will just tickle you. The bad news is that Shadow of Death will be non existant and a slighest mistake will make you pay dearly.

 

I tried NP on Thogar. The problem was twofold:

 

1. Adds were too many. It caused RP to spike at such speed that lots of RP was wasted (waaaaay over cap). Spamming Death Coil on GCD was not an option, because Death Strike was necessary for sheer survival.

 

2. They died very fast anyways.

 

The result was the complete oposite than what I was hoping for: short burst of uncontrollable RP gain or extreme vulnerability. And then long period of nothing when I had 2 enemies on me at most (boss & 1 man-at-arms). Switched back to Defile after 2 wipes :)

 

On Kromog I still believe that tank's biggest responsibility is to survive / make healers' job bearable. He hits very hard and that fight is notoriously known to be one of the 2 hardest fights for healers in the whole instance. All I personally do to contribute on damage on the hands is glyph of Blood Boil to spread diseases farther and save 1 Defile (it can easily cover 3-4 hands initially and grow bigger). Do your job and let DPS do theirs, but that might be just me :)

 

Furnace has lots of fire damage and it can be spiky, but IMHO it comes too often for BoS to cover it. Defile's 33% uptime seems to fit the situation better. Also, Furnace has various high priority targets and their spawning is scattered across the room and across time. It is nearly impossible to wait for BoS to come off CD and then kill them all at once, because by that time they can wreak havoc and wipe the raid if left unchecked.

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