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Kulia

Blood DK at 100

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So, I'm finally levelling up my DK as I want to have a tank available. (got a healer and dps already at 100) 

and I'm wondering, how different is the blood dk going to be at 100. I didn't start playing until MoP, and didn't start tanking until quite late into SoO.

So I want to know what I can do when I get to 100 to make things easier for the healers.

First obvious thing though is don't pull ginormous packs of mobs, so I won't be doing that. But I just want a few pointers to make things a bit easier. 

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1.) The biggest difference I've noticed so far is the huge reduction in mastery. In MoP we could easily get 200-300% mastery which gave us huge blood shields. Right now at level 100 I'm sitting at 40% mastery with 641 ilvl, although I'm gemming and enchanting for multistrike currently. The lower mastery makes our self healing much more reactive than before. The best DK's on the hardest fights were already timing their death strikes to be immediately after boss swings, but in MoP even if you mostly spammed death strike with no regard for your current health, you'd still be 80-90% effective with it because the shield alone made up 75% of the healing. Now 70% of your healing is heal, and 30% shield, so if you're spamming death strikes at full health you're just wasting runes.

 

2.) A lot of stuff is kiteable now. I've pulled the entire train leading up to the second boss of Grimrail before and stayed alive by kiting up and down the train. It's actually rather shocking how much trash can be kiteable just by having 10-20% passive speed boost. (DK's get 10%, if you enchant 10% on your cloak also, you're a kiting machine). If you want to get really fancy you can take the chillblains talent and probably kite every trash pull in any heroic and rarely ever take damage, but I haven't tried anything that extreme yet. just remember though if you ever get some extra packs and you're worried you're going to die, start kiting, it actually works now.

 

3.) There are lots of pats, lots of packs close to eachother, and some DPS are just jerks and will chain pull on you if they don't think you're going fast enough. that last one you can't do anything about unless your group will kick them, but in regards to the first two, just take your time, don't be affraid to ask for CC, and don't be affraid to pull stuff back so you don't pull too many. These heroics were much harder than MoP heroics, and probably at least equal difficulty to Cata and maybe even BC heroics. They got easy pretty quick with gear though, i was hoping they'd stay difficult a little bit longer, but when you're first gearing up just take it slow, and use CC.

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With the changes to Rune Tap (now grants a 3-second, 40% damage reduction instead of a heal), the rise of Glyph of Outbreak/Plague Leech, the cutting of Raise Dead and Rune Strike, and the reduction in our Mastery stat from last expansion, the class is completely different now. I think it's for the better, but it is challenging. The rotation is choppy and unforgiving, and it feels sometimes like you have to reverse-engineer the script of the encounter to truly be effective.

 

I like to use one Death Strike and one charge of Rune Tap right away, to make sure I always have one Blood Rune to use the second one. If the second Blood rune recharges and I haven't needed Rune Tap, I spend it on Blood Boil. When the Death Runes recharge, I spend them on Death Strike. If you do it right, at any given time you should have four Death Runes and two Blood. Then in execute phase Soul Reaper effectively replaces Blood Boil and I reapply diseases with Outbreak if needed.

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Two things helped me:

1) Use all your cooldowns pretty regularly. Don't save them *all* for emergencies, use most of them semi-rotationally to keep your healer's mana usage under control. I personally tend to reserve only IBF and Army for emergencies.

2) Don't use Death Strike rotationally, but instead try to use it in response to spikes - you will have up to three in-hand at any given point (never let runes go stale, but you have Blood Tap and Plague Leech for two more) and that's most of a health bar if you use them at the right time.

Soloing things is a good way to practice your survival "rotation", and get you using cooldowns. Try normal Skyreach as a nice way to start out.

Blood DKs are in a superb place for heroics and early raiding, so don't fear that your class choice will hold you back. Mobility is nominally our weak point, but that just makes for an inexorable advance, not a demented ping-pong ball.

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