Since its meme week, I figured I could jump on the bandwagon Orvilius started and join in the tanking circle.
1. What is the name, class, and spec of your primary tank?
Morehnai, Deathknight, Blood spec
2. What is your primary group tanking environment? (i.e. raids, pvp, 5 mans)
I used to do 25 mans in Wotlk as a frost tank but since Cataclysm I’ve been a 10 man exclusive tank with a few 5 mans when some guildie needs it.
3. What is your favorite cooldown for your class and why?
Glyphed Vampiric blood! Boosts healing done to me by 40% for 10 seconds. It’s my “top me up” cooldown as it turns even the lowliest healing dots into power heals. I find it incredibly valuable to have a tool that let me choose when I want to be topped off in health.
4. What tanking CD do you use least for your class and why?
Rune Tap, while it’s a nice heal I find myself using other cooldowns in priority over this one so when I get around to it I’m either already healed or dead.
5. What do you feel is the biggest strength of your tanking class and why?
Our gazillion abilities! DKs are like the swiss army knives of tanking. There’s not a single situation when I don’t have a tool to deal with it. Wether it’s positioning (Death grip), kitting (icy grip, blood boil), reduce magic or physical damage(anti-magic shield, numerous cooldowns), etc… etc… I always have something up my sleeve.
6. What do you feel is the biggest weakness of your class and why?
Uneven damage intake or spike damage if you prefer. Over the course of a fight I take about the same amount of damage as the other tanks. The issue is that I take big hits followed by periods of low damage wich tends to give trouble to healers not used to that kind of healing.
7. In a raiding environment, what do you feel, in general, is the best tanking assignment for you?
Tanking the weird stuff. Whenever there’s a tanking assignment that requires something unusual I’m the man! My large toolbox allows me to deal with pretty much any situation that goes out of regular tanking assignments.
8. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with most and why?
Paladins, they can deal with those multiple adds picking job that tend to eat me alive.
9. What tanking class do you enjoy tanking with least and why?
Another Dk, I believe a good tanking team requires diversity.
10. What is your worst habit as a tank?
I pull fast. Often as soon as I hear a raid leader suggest we’re ready to go I pull without really checking to see if healers are ready. I have surprised many a group this way and caused a few deaths.
11. What is your biggest pet peeve in a group environment while tanking?
Tanks not facing mobs away from the group and people standing in front of it. There’s no good reasons except a few rare exceptions (Maloriak) to stand in front of a mob and a ton of good ones to stand behind them. It drives me nuts to see tanks not facing mobs away and/or people doing their best to stand in front of them so they can get cleaved/breathed on/etc…
12. Do you feel that your class/spec is well-balanced with others tanks for tanking?
When well-played, yes. However I feel that you need a lot more work to get to the same results as the other tank classes.
13. What tools do you use to evaluate your own performance as a tank?
I’ll use World of logs after fights. During fights, I go more by the general feeling of how the fight went than meters and such. I have a simple checklist. Did I keep aggro? Was I taking too much damage? Could I deal with extra mechanic X, Y and Z. If I answer yes to all those I tend to try to refine my tanking to take it to a point where it looks easy. I believe that when a tank does it job well, you don’t notice it.
14. What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about your tanking class?
That we’re not real tanks. You’d be surprised how often in groups I’ve been told that DKs couldn’t tank and finish the run with people telling how I’m the first DK they saw that can actually tank.
15. What do you feel is the most difficult thing for new tanks of your class to learn?
The gazillion abilities and resource management. Dk tanking is the very opposite of button smashing and you need to know what to do and plan ahead so you have the runic power/runes available when you need to do it. Combined with all the different abilities you have for multiple situations and it can get confusing. I use all my abilities all the time and this can be hard for someone used to set rotations of 4 or 5 abilities.
16. So, how about that whole vengeance mechanic, eh?
Meh, I’m barely aware of it. Threat was never an issue for Dk before so all I see is that I still don’t have an issue.
17. Stamina, Combat Table Coverage, or total Damage Reduction?
Since I don’t have a shield, CTC is pretty much out of the window, stamina is not as interesting in the current raiding since the base hp is much higher so I’m left with damage reduction.
18. What tanking class do you feel you understand least?
Feral druids. I have no idea of what they do and how they do it.
19. What add-ons or macros do you use, if any, to aid you in tanking?
I like going commando with addons and run with the bare minimuns. I’ll use RSA to help out with cooldowns announcements and a stripped down Bigwigs so I have fight timers during fights. I find that knowing when the next X is happening to be really helpful. I’m less interested in the other bells and whistles so I just disable them all.
20. Do you strive primarily for balance between your tanking stats (stam, mastery, avoidance), or do you stack some much higher than others, and why?
Mastery all the way! Although I want to point out that until you get enough gear, starting DK tanks should go avoidance and switch to mastery when they have enough gear to support it.