Tanking DK in Azjol Nerub

Recently I was asked to tank Azjol’Nerub with my death knight. At level 76 I have about 20k armor and a defence rating of 477 so, even with my limited tanking experience as a death knight I thought it should not be a problem to get in there and hold aggro.

I am not really sure how the other dk tanks do it but since I am specced frost I tried to pull with my icy touch, leaving the death grip ability open to be used on casters when they do not run to me or if they decide to go after the healer.

Next was scourge strike to apply the second desease and pestilence to spread those two out to the other mobs that are beeing pulled. And now, to build some aggro on all of the mobs I used the howling blast. With frost feaver active I usually see about 2k damage on all of the mobs and usually that is enough of a head start to last me during the fight.

Personally I had a small rune problem with that rotation because I had to wait a bit until I could lay down death and decay since my runes were on cooldown. But what I did wrong here was that I should have layed down death and decay before the pull and that is an easy change that I can keep in mind when going into the next instance as a tank.

One other thing was that I was not really sure about my cooldowns for some of my abilities. Runic weapon, the ghoul, extra armor and the twenty percent damage reduction are all abilities that really can help and if you are aware of their cooldowns, they do not nescessarily have to be spared for the boss fights.

I learned some small things from this tanking encounter.

1. Know the instance

It really helps to know the instance you are tanking. Not only does it speed up the pace you can go through it but when you know when to expect more damage from mobs you can time your own cooldowns properly. And it can not hurt to know when certain mobs to special things.

2. Mark the targets

Even if your group will do a whole lot of aoe damage I found it really helpful to use the marks that the standard ui provides. For example we always mark the target that will be downed with a skull, the second one with the cross and so forth. We also have some symbols assigned for crowd control abilities so that the classes responsible for that know when to sheep, shackle or stun.

3. Talk

For me, it usually helps to ask some questions before the action starts. For example if everyone in the group has a basic understanding of how the instance works. Sometimes, players do have only limited time so making clear how fast you want to go through the instance can be helpful. You might think that this is not the job of the tank per se but keep in mind that the tank usualy sets the pace and that the tank has to react if one of the other players pulls a group because he is in a rush …

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