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BDK HC Renferal

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Hey all. Last week I was asked to tank my guild's HC progression on Ursoc and Renferal right as I logged in. I felt I did decent for not tanking on a DK in a couple of years. I made talent and some minor affordable enchant/gem changes on the fly. However, tonight, I dropped the ball immensely. Not everything was my fault, dropped green stuffs and squished bugs on the bridge, etc.


The main change that I did tonight was after pulling the boss I would open with DRW to pop up my BS and such to be less spiky at the pull. And I think that's where I went wrong. I do realize that I was late on a couple of Def CDs. The biggest thing that's bothering is that I feel my BS was just burned through pretty damn quick and I found myself Rune and RP starved, a lot as compared to last week.


The following are the last weeks kill and this week's pull/wipes. If you don't mind, critique my performance so I'm better able to fix/figure out my pull and not feel like I was bumbling mess tonight as compared to last week.





Nov 2, 2016:



Nov 9, 2016:







Edited by Karmageddon

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I'm no expert in reading logs, nor am I going to pretend I'm the best raider ever.
I can however speak with the experience of a long time Blood dk with some mythic kills under my belt.

First off on progress fights/tough fights you should be running with Purgatory always.
And if you're experiencing a very high dmg intake it might be worth switching out Rapid Decomp for Spectral Deflection. Dont always follow the website recomendations to the letter, it's always a good idea to test stuff yourself.

As to your rotation, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using DRW at a pull, that's usually what I do too, the way I do it is, first throw out a disease, DRW, Marrowrend to get instant 10 stacks of bone armor, and then as many Heart strikes as my rune regen will allow me, and then try to dump the Runic power into DS while the DRW is still active. that first off all gives you VERY strong aggro from the get go, but also allows you to get som early dmg pushed aswell as you are pretty well set on defenses in that time.
What I can however say is, dont hold back on your Vamp Blood, you are running with Red Thirst which means it'll be off CD pretty quickly, so use it as often as possible really, it gives you a ton more healing from your own DS, but healers will also do alot more healing on you, and if you've gotten to the point where you have Umbilicus Eternus you will get a shield as often as it runs out, this is EXTREMELY effective when there's alot of mobs, but even with just 1 it's still som additional shielding.
You're also holding back way too much on your AMS, it's a 1 min CD and shouldn't only be used once per fight, figure out when the best time to use it will be and use it as often as possible, it's a very strong CD.

And lastly from what I'm seeing, you're not having a good enough uptime on Bone Shield, this should idealy be up 100% of the time, this ability is a HUGE amount of your defense, think of it this way, when you dont have this up you will have a debuff of taking 16% increased dmg (unless you have skeletal shattering, then it varies between 16% increased dmg taken and 24%) So you really should have this active at ALL times, it's immensely important.

Also as a last note, remember to use your on use trinkets, they might not do a TON, but everything counts !

I dont know if it's been helpful, hope it has !

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I'm not a great moment-by-moment parser, but just looking over your Armory and some of the logs, I'll offer a few suggestions I've found have helped me with the Blood tanking. This purely anecdotal evidence, not trying to contradict anything in the guide or "accepted" wisdom, if I happen to.

1) When gear allows you probably want to start upping your Crit. Paired with the Skeletal Shattering gold trait it can help boost survivability. Even just upping it into the lower 20%'s I think you'd notice a difference.

2) Looking purely at the "kill" fight I'm seeing no Anti-Magic Shield buff gains. One of the things DK can do to help that fight and the placement of spider poisons and what not is being the tank that picks up the boss after platform transitions. Have Bone Shield up for the first Raking Talons, then use Anti-Magic Shell and it will almost completely negate the second Raking Talons, allowing you to single tank and mitigate the crap out of that mechanic, rather than relying on taunt swaps. This is particularly handy if your other tank is dead or wrestling with spiders.

3) This will fly in the face of conventional wisdom but if you feel like you're getting hit hard consider taking the Spectral Deflection talent. Yes, the guide says it's too weak to be considered. Yes, conventional wisdom says Rapid Decomposition is far superior. In practicality I've found it to be worthwhile, particularly in later bosses like Cenarius and Xavius. Let's face it, our Blood Shields aren't useless, but they're far from being as amazing as they were in WoD. DS-ing more is NOT a bad thing, but imo shaving a bit more damage off big hits here and there ends up making me feel more stable than a DS heal that will get chunked right back off again in 2-3 seconds because our shields are bleh.

4) On the kill it felt like your Bone Shield up time was low, just using a log of my own recent kill in that fight I was sitting on roughly 87% up time to your 52%.

5) Similarly, the logs aren't suggesting you have Umbilicus Eternus trait in the artifact, which is also pretty handy. I feel like the IV guide is doing people a disservice suggesting they go for Unending Thirst first, but I digress.

6) Looking at your Death Strike usage and healing returns, it would suggest you're doing Death Strike either as a part of your normal rotation (possibly using it when runes are empty), or using it pre-emptively instead of as a reaction to being hit. Comparing and contrasting your logs to my own, I'm seeing you did DS 48 times for 14.37m healing (299k avg). Comparing that to my own, I had 44 Death Strikes that did a total of 24.3m healing (554k avg). The difference in our respective item levels is not so pronounced that I would think it would make a huge difference. In my experience sit on DS until your health drops below 75%, then use one. Blood Shield is too weak use like you would a Power Word Shield now. It does okay after you take a big hit and heal back some, but if you're tossing it up there like a Prot Warrior's Ignore Pain you're going to be in for a bad time.


Hopefully some of this will be helpful :)

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Few things after a quick delve into the spider boss logs. (In work so cant do a massive dig)

As TeamC points out your BoneShield uptime is too low. Get it up and keep it up. 

Your death was due to the web of pain mechanic, were you more than 20 yards from the other person? When you get it, run to the other person or as near as you can, if your tanking the adds, bring them with you, your dps should be kiling them asap rather than on the boss so they should die quickly.

Blood shield is a pale reflection of how strong it used to be. Dont bother with trying to stack it up premetively unless your off tanking, have a full set of Bone shield (10) and have spare RP. 

I like rapid decomp talent which works nicely as long as you stand in your d+D, if your not able to do that then either dont drop it or take another talent. (Some fights move you around alot , some dont)

Potion of prolonged power is your go to potion  and its cheaper too. DRW is nice to use when taking the boss from your co-tank but be careful using it if your not the MT at the start of the fight. The shield it gives is pretty crappy too unless it hits alot of targets. For the spider boss, pop it on the adds once they are gathered and watch them melt.  Depending on your relics you can get 2-3 extra DRW copies out, each putting out a disease and there is a talent in your artifact that helps too. 

It does sound like you have been dumped into tanking, maybe take some time and run some mythics or heroics until you get a feel for it, it has changed alot since WoD so it takes time for you to relearn the differences. 


Gear wise your gear is probably the best you have , see if you can pick up some haste crit gear, esp rings or neck to help build up your crit and parry. 

Other than that, give it some time, BDK tanking is a bit more challenging than say a warrior or bear at the moment but its good once you get your head around it. 

Hope that helps some.

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Thanks to all 3 of you, you made valid points and after reading your replies my memory kicked in realizing specific game changing points during the fight.


@Cruxie you're spot on about my AMS up time, I saved it for those times when I had to walk through the poison and I'm certain my MR downtime was due to spamming HS so I could DS, I'll work on that as I was told this morning that HS is last on the list to use if at all.


@TeamC thanks for the tip about Raking Talons and AMS, I'll use it next week. I'll mess with Spectral Deflection on Normal mode to see if I'm getting a better result. With spiders and Il'gynoth I'm rarely in my D&D as we're using it to slow adds for kiting purposes. And you're right about my DS usage, I was using DS a lot as a proactive instead of reactive mitigation.


@Shells yea my death was due to my BrM co tank rolling the opposite way lol. As soon as he realized he had done that he did apologize, he actually rolled of the edge so that didn't help things. I'll definitely give Prolonged Power a try. I've tanked since SoO through WoD as a BrM and really enjoyed it. I rolled DK this expansion to focus as a DPS due to a schedule change, but I'lll get better at the DK and yea I was already 20 in UH Artifact when I was asked to tank last week. I was actually on the bench for their HC progression. Knocked out a bunch of AP to try and catch up in Maw of the Damned.


This weekend my guild mates and I are set up to no life Mythics and I'll be AP farming like a boss so that'll get done. Thank you all for your replies and advice, it's greatly appreciated.



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Hello Karmageddon,

I am a BDK since Ulduar and have done progression raiding in the past, so I've got some experience. I have compared your logs to out most recent Kill and may be able to give you some good hints.


I have checked your armory, you are at 864, I was at 862 at the time of our last kil. So our gear is comparable (yours is slightly better ilvl wise).


First of all, our Mastery has changed significantly since MoP. Back then we could use DS pro-actively and stack big shields prior to taking damage. This doesn't work anymore. You have to be much more reactive.

Regarding your AM, there is room for improvement. Your BS uptime is fairly low, this has already been pointed out (you had 52%, I had 94.37% on our last kill). You will absolutely want your BS to stay above 5 stacks. This is your #1 priority. Only HS if you are above 5 stacks! This can be difficult at times.


I think you might want to shift your stats. You are sitting at immense amounts of mastery which are essentially worthless. I priritize Haste > Crit > Mastery and only take 20% of Mastery, the rest goes into Haste > Crit. The guide is somewhat bad regarding stat weights, imho.


In your kill fight, you had 95k HPS. In our kill, I had 188k. This is effective HPS, mind you. Your HPS spikes at about 200k, mine spikes at about 380-550k. This is a significant difference! I am not sure why exactly that is, but it might be due to your low amount of DS. You had 69 DS in 6:45, I had 93 DS in 5:43. also, your DS timing seems to be bad. Your DS had an average heal of 299k, mine had 434k (which i still consider too low and try to improve). I would like to recommend you the addon "Blood Shield Tracker". It shows you how big your shield is, and how much the *next* DS will heal. This makes it easier to avoid "bad" DS and lets you lern how to better time your DS. Over time, you will look less and less on that addon as your training increases. I rarely look there anymore, but I think its invaluable for learning the DK tanking style.


Regarding DRW on pull: its an attractive choice. it boosts your BS stacks to 10 quite quickly, and it smoothes the pull. In Renferal, however, I would seriously consider using DRW on the spiders. 40% parry is a lot, especially against many small targets, and the added damage is also quite significant (especially when you happen to have the trait that creates *two* copies of your weapon). So maybe experiment with this a bit and consider DRW on the spiders.


Also, both your AMS and Vampiric Blood uptimes are terrible. On your kill, you did not use it at all, on your wipe only once. Especially with Red thirst, you can use VB much, much more often. Don't be afraid to use VB! Its really strong, and super fast ready again. it can be used both reactively (heal you up, and then also make your DS bigger to top you) and pro-actively (increase max hp before big hits, make your healers heal more). AMS absorbs poison damage, so don't be afrid to use it on the spiders. Its also great against talon rake, so use it! With DRW + AMS, you can take the spiders on the first platform both times while at the same time trivializing  them.


Purgatory used to be the go-to mandatory talent for BDKs, and it is still extremely strong, especially during progression. On add-heavy fights, however, you can also consider Bonestorm. Bonestorm is quite strong, both DPS and healing-wise and can really help with the spiders. I used to take Purgatory in raids, and Bonestorm in mythic+ dungeons, but for the Renferal fight I tried Bonestorm, and was absolutely amazed.


Make sure you and your tank position properly. Don't be too close, but don't be too far, either. i had to yell at our boss tank not to run away from me with the spiders twice. I had the spiders nice out the way, ready to drop their green shit and our druid tank was on a run. Bad positioning can kill you. That link stuff does a shitload of damage if you are too far from each other.


You currently have two On-use trinkets, but neither show up in the logs. Either you didn't have them, or didn't use them (or I was too blind), so keep those in mind.


So tl;dr:


* Keep 5 stacks BS up

* Time DS better, try to DS more often

* Use your CDs - especially VB - more often. Use your On-use trinkets.

* AMS, DRW and Bonestorm make spiders trivial. Consider all of those for them

Edited by Netzwerg

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Netz, thanks for the advice. I've been using all of the advice you 4 have given and we killed HC Xavius tonight on our 3rd pull. After I made this initial topic, the on-use trinkets fell into my lap from Caches. I've been very conscious to line up VB with other healing CDs as needed and during major damage intake moments. I'm the boss tank for us and it's been great tanking again and I can't thank you all for the help you offered.


Oh and I'll give that add on a try, I've seen it come up a few times in other forum posts and I've made a jump to using WA2 and that has helped me tons this past 3 days since I've been using it.




Edited by Karmageddon

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