Tank Experiment: To Northrend

It’s been a week or so without a post. A lot has been going on, I’ll fill in the details sooner or later. Today’s post will focus on Mandylus, the Death Knight in my experiment. Yes, she has arrived in Northrend and is now level 72. I have picked up duel speccing on her, unholy for questing and 2H frost for tanking. I plan to switch to DW Frost as soon as I get some decent 1h weapons.

First off, the last time I reported on her status, Mandy was in her early 60’s. I pretty much made the run from 60 to 70 in about 8 hours. I want to give some credit to a couple of websites that have helped me out a ton. WOW Pro has some of the best free leveling guides I can find. Jame’s guides are some of the best on the site. I began using them when I was first leveling my warrior through to 80. I went back to using them for the DK and discovered they have an add-on version now. Let me just say this, the leveling guides helps but the add-on is just amazing. It’s a combination of Tom-tom and Tour guide. Jame has optimised routes and has a Tom-tom marker for everything. It’s light weight and just full of awesome. Of course, I like to run 5 mans while leveling and I’m decked out in BOA gear so I do get pretty far ahead of the guide at times. The add-on makes it very easy to skip ahead of the guide to get to proper level content. This is an amazing site, amazing add-on…amazing guide and I highly recommend it to anyone leveling a toon.

Next in my bag of tricks, Wow Leveling Builds. A site dedicated to optimizing your build while leveling. Every class, every spec is up to date for patch 3.3. This is where I found the 12/0/59 Unholy build that I’m using while questing. I picked unholy for the extra AOE abilities. Improved DnD and extra disease damage when using pestilence. I never die, get plenty of healing from Death Strike. Plus I get the permanent pet. This site is definitely a good spot to sent people for fastest possible leveling specs. They don’t have any explanations as to rotations but it wasn’t hard for me to pick up.

On to DK tanking. I’ve often talked about Death Knights as being crosses between Warlocks and Warriors. I still feel that statement is true when it comes to dps but tanking definitely feels like a perfect cross between Paladin and Warrior. Plenty of buttons to mash, rune strike may as well be heroic strike. Rune power is similar to Rage. Blood Boil has a definite Thunder clap feel. Yet, it’s got the “set it, and forget it” feel of Pally AOE with DnD and Pestilence.

So far, I’ve tanked 4 times on Mandy. 3 UK and 1 Nexus. The first run was the most interesting, I pulled the first group in UK and they went down quick. Second group, mobs scattered and it was hectic. The healer did an awesome job keeping everyone up. At this point I got worried because I was having major threat issues. After about the 4th pull, I remembered I wasn’t in frost presence…I know, fuckn’ noob. After that minor oversight we cleared the place with 1 wipe. I forgot to run out for the dark smash on the last guy… In the following dungeons, other than having a few new to healing healers it’s been smooth sailing and a ton of fun. I’m learning quite a bit but I also think my tanking experience on the warrior has saved me a few times. I have a leg up now though, I don’t have to learn the dungeons while learning to tank…just need to learn the class.

I would like to point out one thing to anyone bringing a plate tanking class up…do the colderra quest, all of them. By the time you’ve finished all the quest there, you’ll have 4 quest in Nexus. Get the book, scan the rift, kill the rock guys and kill Keristrasza. Not only will you get a ton of XP from the dungeon and quest, you’ll pick up a few blue tanking pieces.

In closing, even at leveling 70 I get in dungeons in about 10 seconds as a tank. I plan to tank Mandy all the way to 80 before I work with another of the classes. Once she hits 80, I’m going to put her in my wife’s guild, who’s short a tank atm. I’ll use her to help them progress and farm Frost Badges for Primordial Saronite to sell and craft Mandalus the BS legs. I’ll probably begin working on the druid next but I may try to bring the druid and pally up together. I find if I work with 1 class to long while leveling I get bored, so I don’t know where I’m going with it yet.

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