I get asked a lot by new Death Knight tanks how to pull mobs correctly and keep good aggro and threat on mobs, especially in this day and age where it seems most DPSers can’t seem to target the tank’s target. By the way my DPS brethren, the F-key is the assist key; know it, learn it, use it, and your tank will love you for it. So right, wrong, or indifferent, this post will be my attempt to impart my wisdom to the new DK tanks on the art of pulling.
Right out of the gate, please stop death gripping the hell out of everything. I know it looks very cool to have your enemy flying through the air bending to your will, and having your healers and DPS ooing and ahhing over your awesomeness, but really, your death grip should be saved for other things which I will go into later.
The single target pull is fairly easy and straightforward. Right before starting your pull, make sure your Bone Shield is up and use Horn of Winter to gain a little runic power. As you are running toward your target, use an Outbreak on it to get your diseases going, click Dark Command to taunt, and then lay down a Death and Decay. When you get close enough, Death Strike, then Rune Strike, position the target where its back is towards your DPS, then just roll into your regular priority system for using your abilities. If you have some twitchy DPS or someone that is an aggro whore, you can also use your ghoul to help you get some additional threat.
The abilities used in mob pulling are different, but not horribly difficult by any means. Just like with your single target pull, before you pull, make sure your Bone Shield is up and use Horn of Winter to gain some runic power. As you are running toward your target, use an Outbreak on your main target to get your diseases going. Depending on what you talented into, use either Blood Boil or Unholy Blight to spread your disease to the whole mob. I prefer Blood Boil for this purpose because it has less of a cool down, and thanks to Crimson Scourge, from time to time you get a free Blood Boil that does not consume any runes and refreshes your diseases for you. Next, lay down a Death and Decay, position the mob so their backs are towards your DPS, and roll right into your priority system for using your abilities. Make sure you tab target through the mobs to keep your threat high and hopefully also keep them all together in what I like to call “The Ball of Death.” In the event that a mob member gets away because either a DPS is not targeting your target or you forgot to tab target through to keep your threat high, you can Death Grip them back, Dark Command them back, or, if the threat is not too high, you can sometimes hit a Blood Boil to get them back in line.
On mob pulls where you have casters that don’t like to move and join your “Ball of Death,” there are a few ways you can handle this situation. If there is only one caster, then I prefer to Strangulate them, which will immediately cause them to stop casting, and they will come rushing towards you to join the “Ball of Death.” In the case of two casters, Death Grip one of them, then Strangulate the other, and you will have your whole mob happily in front of you beating you in your face!
There you have it my Blood brethren, how to pull as a tank and win. If anyone has any questions or helpful suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments section. Suffer well, my brothers in blood, suffer well!