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Rune Management Tips
  • I'm doing OK with Unholy DPS on a target dummy, so that seems to be straight forward. Blood tanking, however, I find difficult to process. The way that the runes work is very foreign to me and in can pretty much ignore them as Unholy an get away with it. Blood, however, is far less forgiving. I need to be able to perform well so that I'm not losing aggro or wasting GCDs or whatever.

    I'm not looking for a mod to show me rune nonsense, I'm just looking for some tips on how to envision the whole rune system. The four different kinds of runes and how they get used just freak me out a bit. Specifically when I hit one ability and it removes another from the list of available options. This happens to me constantly while practicing on the dummies :(
    Post edited by Kastang at 2011-05-27 09:05:59
  • Okay. So, I haven't tried Blood in 4.0.1, but I've read on it. I'll drop what science on you that I can, but maybe someone better qualified will roll through here later.

    Also don't be offended if I say something "obvious" because I don't know what you do and don't know. Although I reckon you don't know very much. Wah ha ha! Anyway.

    So, runes. These days, runes of the same type no longer charge simultaneously. This is to say, if you drop two Heart Strikes in a row (because you are a badass), first one Blood Rune will recharge, and then the other, as opposed to how it was back in the old country where they'd both charge up at once. The result is that you have fewer runes available to use over a given period of time. The rub with that is that strikes now hit about twice as hard, so it all comes out in the wash.

    You'll also sometimes see runes randomly refresh after hitting a Rune Strike or Death Coil (though you shouldn't be hitting DC unless you need to be at range for some reason). This is your Runic Empowerment proc and it is sexy. It is also a bit chaotic, though. You'll get used to seeing buttons light up after a Rune Strike -- this is because a rune has refreshed. It's more reactive than Blood Knights used to be, but you'll get used to it.

    Just like back in the day, Death Strike will cause the runes you use on it to refresh into (appropriately enough) Death Runes. I reckon what you're seeing re: button disappearance is a combination of Death Runes and Runic Empowerment procs. Say you have a Frost Rune ready and a Death Rune procs. Now, Heart Strike AND Death Strike will light up. When you use one, both buttons will go dark, because you are without runes.

    The real problem (as I understand it) that Blood DKs are running into is rune starvation. This is going to be fixed in an upcoming patch -- you will be able to use Rune Strike ANYTIME in Blood Presence, as opposed to just after a dodge or parry. This will allow you to drop many more RSs which leads to more Runic Empowerment which leads to more strikes!

    For the time being, you have to manage strikes very carefully. I would only use Death Strike when you need it for the heal, opting for Heart Strike and its built-in cleave effect on every Death Rune you can spare. So think of it as a Heart Strike > Death Strike priority system. In addition, many Blood DKs are going diseaseless. I would check EJ for more info. That system allows for more strikes and is likely going to be nerfed a threat gain. Also of note, Death Strike's healing powers are not disease reliant, further accomodating a diseaseless style.

    I dunno if I answered your question, Yroa, but maybe some of the general info will be helpful. And again, if anyone is actively Blood tanking, hopefully they can chime in.
    Post edited by Hoff at 2010-10-26 16:58:50
    a/k/a Victarious
  • Not using diseases sounds like it might be a net plus on single targets, but I would think that diseases+pestilence would be too useful to pass up on packs of mobs. Rune Strike is something that I can't test out on a dummy, at least not until they fix it. Tanking may make more "sense" after they update that ability, since it will help me to actually have buttons to push.

    I did not know that the runes refresh one at a time, that's a huge change and most likely one of the top reasons I feel lost. Whenever I'm doing something and I'm spending large periods of time (3 seconds is forever) without being able to use a special, then I feel that either I'm failing or Blizzard is. Usually it's the former.

    I will heed your advice about heart strike and death strike. I'm pretty sure that I'm leaning on DS too much and will reset my /powa so that it doesn't highlight that button unless my health is below a set threshold. Between that and the upcoming rune strike change, perhaps I'll feel more comfortable.

    Thanks for your input, more is welcome!
  • One thing I meant to say but didn't because I'm a sleepy dragon (heal me) is that the likely reason you don't notice a similar feeling of ineffectiveness in Unholy is that Unholy has like a zillion things to make runes recharge faster. Unholy Presence, for one. Haste, for another, which innately boosts recharge rates now. In addition, Unholy's Runic Empowerment is changed from "a random rune pops up" to "runes rechage twice as fast for three seconds! Yay!" So, you're flying. That's not here nor there, although it's important to note the difference in how RE works for Unholy as opposed to Blood or Frost. There are no surprise runes. Everything will stay in order. It's very similar to how Blood DPS was. Anyway.

    Three seconds is forever, but this time it's not your fault. I read (just now) that the change to Rune Strike is expected to go live in 4.0.3, in a couple weeks or whenever "they" say it will go. That indeed will help on dummy testing. As a rule, Rune Strike should be your highest priority ability, unless you have two runes of the same type sitting idle (e.g. both your Frost runes are off cooldown and refreshed). You never want to let runes sit idle and you want to keep as many runes recharging as possible, to take advantage of RE procs. Still, Rune Strike hits like a mack truck on top of a freight train, so use it as much as possible. This is why I said no to Death Coil, since that will take away your runic power. Also, 3/3 Scent of Blood can still be excessive, but once you can Rune Strike all day long, it might be viable. It's not even "terrible" now given the longer rune rechage time, but I think 2/3 is still recommended by most.

    Oh, and diseaseless/AOE. With Heroic Strike having a 3-mob cleave effect, packs of three can be dispatched with some ease. Death and Decay, cleave, cleave, blood tap, cleave, tabbing and Rune Striking. I dunno, that's just theory. It should be higher snap threat, but likely less sustained. Of course, for real big packs you want diseases, Pestilence, Blood Boil, the whole nine.

    The other thing with diseaseless is that you get your attack speed slow from Frost Fever, so if you're going diseaseless on a boss, make sure the other tank has that covered with Judgements of the Just/Thunder Clap/Infected Wound/their own Frost Fever. It's easier for pretty much everyone else, but it's still wise to check.

    But yeah, Rune Strike as much as you can and never let runes sit idle and that should keep you as busy as you can be.
    Post edited by Hoff at 2010-10-26 17:57:42
    a/k/a Victarious
  • I'm holding off posting on this till I have a chance to tank a bit more with Mightymoe but wanted to mention 2 things

    First off, let me say Satorri's Tanking Guide is awesome. If you haven't read his old one it has some good concepts. His guide explains the why and the options, and the old one did a nice job of helping me visualize the rune usage layout (blood, fu pairs etc.)

    Secondly what I have taken to doing on Zurena (and would probably do with any decently geared tank) is "dummy practice" on the big skellies on Ironwall Rampart. This is the rampart right below Shadow Vault

    Since they attack you can practice the spells that proc on parry/dodge/(and block). (They also have enough HP that you can go through several rotations before they die.)

    Just remember to bandage occasionally. (I found a spot where they spawned one right after another and forgot about my health and died completely unnecessarily.)

  • I'll try tanking some of that trash stuff, but healing shouldn't be a problem on Zurena, just use Victory Rush on yourself -- it should heal for a truckload. You're never going to Victory Rush a mob, at least I don't think so :P
  • So I just tanked the HH a coupla times. Diseaseless, using this spec, which is probably not so great for progression raiding but good with the aggro. I totally eschewed any semblance of "spreading out" my Death Strikes and just rolled on a RS > HS > DS priority system. It worked great; without any CDs I was hitting 8-9k TPS despite only pulling DPS in the low 1000s. Rune Strike is ridonkulous, and I would recommend 3/3 Scent of Blood way more than I did yesterday.

    This shouldn't be taken as anything more than "how much aggro can you pull" which was hefty for someone in largely 232 gear. I also felt like I was hitting a lot with the Rune Strikes and Heart Strikes on priority. One thing I might say is *not* to reforge to mastery if you're bored. Even though Blood's mastery is supposed to be very strong, less avoidance means less Rune Strike procs.
    a/k/a Victarious
  • Oh it wasn't a problem on Zurena I just did like 15 or 20 in a row and totally forgot to heal myself eventually 5%-7% damage per stacks up and results in a *doh!* Mightymoe was fine on the skellies (even when I was running with the iLevel 200 chest which is now replaced.)

    Last night I finally had a chance to test out DK tanking post patch. Mightmoe's first PoS! So now I feel like I can post.

    First off - in Satorri's old tanking guide he talks about accounting for runes by viewing them usually as blood runes (2) and FU pairs (frost unholy) as that is how many of the abilities break out.
    2 diseases - 1 FU pair
    Death strike - 1 FU pair
    Heart Strike - blood rune
    Blood boil - blood rune
    Pestilence - blood rune
    Death & Decay = 1 unholy - ok a bit unique there.

    Death runes can be used as a wild card no matter what rune they filled in for.

    Secondly the new runes fill in one at a time per type - first 1 blood then the second fills.

    Runic Empowerment cause Death Coil & Rune Strike (and frost strike) to have a 45% chance to refresh a sleeper rune - which means if the first blood is filling in it can refresh the second blood (or possibly some other type of rune.)
    This means 2 things -
    1) leaving runic power high doesn't just waste potential damage - it can make a big difference in threat because you are missing potential rune refreshes.
    2) Dodge & Parry is worth more than Mastery right now in most cases (math in Satorri's Guide to the Bloody Future)

    In addition to that do remember you have blood tap which will refresh a blood rune and turn it into a death rune (which can be glyphed to not cost health.) If you've used your blood and death runes up remember to use this handy spell

    (There is also another spell who's name I'm forgetting and can't find that refreshes all of the runes - that one has a longer cool down.)

    What all this rune refreshing means is that it is handy to have the "state of the runes" visible somewhere on your screen - since the runic empowerment refresh could be anywhere.

    However, you can build a basic idea of what will definitely be available based on what you have and what you've used. The refreshes/death runes etc. give you additional resources beyond that.

    What I found last night is that RS was up _a lot_. The rune refreshes happened _a lot_. I used blood tap a few times but it was sitting "available" a lot.

    The new rune system isn't a problem - just keep track of what is up, think of how you are pairing your spells and then add in as the runes become available. Diseases add to damage which add to threat - so do use them - you aren't really saving by not using them. As Satorri says: Disease buffing is important to HS and BB threat.
  • Have to disagree on diseases. Not throwing up IT & PS works out to allowing two additional Heart Strikes through every two "trips" through the rune cycle -- eight every two "trips" instead of six. Diseases add 20% more damage to HS, so if you work out 8 at 100% it's a VERY slight gain compared to 6 @ 120%. The flaw in my own math is that that doesn't take into account RE procs -- for instance, ten Heart Strikes at 120% damage would be equal to twelve @ 100%. It all depends on your proc rates. I'll take the flexibility of a diseaseless system -- remember, you can also use the runes you didn't spend on diseases on a Death Strike if things get sticky, neither the damage or healing of which is modified by diseases.

    Actually, doing a bit more math, Z is probably right about diseases as a threat gain, considering their own innate damage and the IT/PS damage. However, I still like diseaseless, as stated and then struck out above, for the flexibility and ease of use.

    I also read someone advoctaing just Icy Touch for AOE packs, since Blood Boil only checks that at least one disease is active for its damage boost. That way, you can drop a Frost Rune on IT, an Unholy Rune on D&D, then go into business as normal.

    Now I'm all hot and bothered to run some heroics, so I will test diseaseless/one disease further and let you all know.
    Post edited by Hoff at 2010-10-27 13:33:58
    a/k/a Victarious
  • Oh I like the icy touch trick. I may have to try that.
    And just in case anyone had an old (I think) wrong definition of blood boil in their head like I did - it does do damage & threat even without diseases, it just boosts threat with diseases present.
  • Yeah, I'm not sure what the boost is; don't believe it says in the tooltips. I think I will respec to a more conventional build when I get home. It might be that diseases prove to be more threat than I am thinking. Another nice thing about diseaseless is that even without diseases, two Heart Strikes should be better burst threat than the conventional method. It might end up being something that works better in heroics, but loses too much ground on sustained fights.

    And I like that Icy Touch trick too! I just read that one today. I am looking forward to giving it a go.
    Post edited by Hoff at 2010-10-27 17:28:01
    a/k/a Victarious
  • So, I didn't get to run any heroics last night between Lazy Cats and eating and owning a cat, but I have run several more HH runs and some of the rampart skellies between last night and this morning. I tried two diseases, one disease with D&D, and diseaseless. Threat has been largely the same across the board, fluctuating between 8-9k per second, more depending on Rune Strike procs than anything. Also, using my 264 DPS axe with Fallen Crusader shot me up 1-2k TPS, so for heroics that's pretty sexy. Again, this is an exceedingly limited testing process, but it's worth noting. At no point have I had the slightest issue holding single target aggro regardless of technique.
    a/k/a Victarious
  • I only got one heroic in tonight between DPSing randoms with Jexii and playing some guitar and playing some XBox, and I had to go to the store, and the cat needs attention, anyway, I ended up running H Halls of Reflection, which I had never tanked on Miya, so that was an experience! We made it through. Some observations:

    - I went with diseaseless for bosses and single disease (the IT/DND trick) on groups.
    - Single target, I had zero threat issues. And while it might be fun to Heart Strike over and over, I ended up Death Striking a lot. A *lot*. Our healer was mezzo-mezzo, so I had to keep myself up.
    - The new Will of the Necropolis is nice. Not sure how it stacks against the old version, but I was using Rune Tap occasionally, so to have it refresh when I needed it was great. My revised build still did not include Bone Shield, as I feel it is a weak and obtuse ability, but I still had plenty of cooldowns.
    - AOE was much tougher. I don't know if a second disease would have helped. In addition, my spec didn't take Crimson Scourge, which gives 40% more damage to Blood Boil. Still, MOST of my AOE issues came from DPS not staying on target.

    That second disease likely would have helped on AOE. Still, with a single-target oriented spec and glyphs, I did all right. We wiped once when one got away from me and wasted our highest DPS, and the Lich King caught us. Better tab targeting on my part would have helped, and being able to Rune Strike more while doing so would have been great. Single-target is just nuts. With DRW up I was pulling like 15K TPS (I have the glyph which causes it to boost threat). I'm going to stay diseaseless until I have issues, but if anyone raid tanks on their DK I would love to hear how threat was.
    a/k/a Victarious
  • Also, sorry for kind of derailing the topic into a DK tanking discussion. Yroa, please let us know if you have other questions. :)
    a/k/a Victarious
  • I think that I may be OK once I'm getting RS to proc rune regen. The dummy doesn't do that, so tanking is artificially harder than it has to be.

    The side discussion about diseases and stuff is fine. How else would I have heard about IT+BB instead of also doing PS?

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