DK tank doing solo raid content

Death Knights are particularly well suited to handling raid content by themselves, solo, alone, like a one-man army, because of the self-healing and extreme levels of awesomeness we DK tanks have osmotically imbued into our Blood talent tree.

It’s been something many have tried. I solo’d most of ZG on my first Gravity, tried farming the cool mounts there for a while. It gets a bit dull after a while.

One DK I know, Dywolf, has been doing it for a long while. Dywolf is a private chap, not one to talk about his achievements at all and a man who prefers short sentences. I asked if he could tell us what he’s done, how he does it and for any little tips for those who want to try solo raid content too. Here’s his story.


Gravity: How long have you been into doing solo content?

It started with soloing Onyxia on my pal in late TBC (still pre buff). Then I tried ZG cause I never stopped wanting those mounts (none have dropped for our guild, ever). So when I got my DK up to snuff, I started going for the ZG mounts again. And then I was bored with just those two fights, so I started working on clearing all the bosses. After getting Hakkar down, I set my eyes on the other 20m, AQ. Took a bit to get Ossirian down, even when we were raiding it we didnt often get him down. And then I realized how much money theese bosses were dropping….so I kept doing it. when they nerfed the cash, so I went back to just the 2 bosses for the mounts since I had the achievements. Then I turned into an achievement whore (up to 7200, including my Loremaster title), and saw someone post about soloing MC on dkinfo. His gear was far above mine, but I decided to try anyway, and learned very quickly that I still hate Gehennas. But with a bit of luck, and the shadow resist gear from Black Temple (royal pain to track down a BS with those recipes still) I proved he could be soloed….and then after the 3rd time I started bring a mage friend just to make it easier. Raggy turned out to be a pain too. My gear wasnt sufficient so I once again turned to TBC resist gear, and he went down shortly after. On that first run Garr dropped some bindings….and that started my quest for the legendaries.

So to date I’ve solo cleared: ZG, AQ20, MC, Kara, all TBC heroics. Did AQ40 trash long enough to get the tank mounts, but Skeram is a toughy so I never went further in.


Could you provide a little background on yourself including armory link, and how seriously you raid in 10 or 25s.

I like being low key so I’ll keep the armory to myself for now. I play a tauren dps DK and my name used to be funny til it got reported. Strangulate and a few others always seemed like Star Wars powers to me, so I went with that meme. Tradeskills are Alchemy and JC. I prefer frost spec still, specifically 2h frost, but Ghostcrawler says its never coming back, so I’ve made my peace with dw frost. Though there’s just something about a massive frosty cow DK with a big slow 2h that hits like a truck (old Frost strike). But Unholy is the way to go currently, and we need the debuff, so I raid that now.

But I’ve been playing since vanilla beta. Coming from EQ and a ranger/beastlord character set made a hunter. Raided with it into BWL, but got bored with it, and leveled a enh shaman for TBC. Raided with that for a bit, then took a break, came back, switched to a ret pal in Black Temple (pre-super buffs). WOTLK came out, jumped on the DK bandwagon instantly. Been in the same guild, a fairly easy going but small one, since hunter days. We’re up to Putricide in the 10m group I’m in (couldnt tell ya where the other 10m is, but its farther along). In 25 we’ve got Saurfang, but thats it cause of the dps requirements for Fester (re: small guild). Trying to get a 2nd raid night going, but as it is our one night is the only free night for some of our people. ICC going slower for us cause we lost a couple people too.

Hard bosses?

Of those bosses, which were really tricky and what did you do to overcome them?

Gehennas: 75% heal reduction, stuns from the add, and lots and lots of shadowbolt damage. I tracked down a blacksmith with the shadow resist recipes, got it up to 480ish, brought some Restoration potions, and after a couple tries got him down. That was naxx/uld gear. Now that my gear is much improved, probably dont need all the SR, but I got a mage guildy whos after rep so she usually tags along when I clear it now.

Raggy: Wearing the resist gear mitigates soooo much of his damage. Basically the only significant damage then is the falling damage from the knockup. There’s a spot that has a tall column looking rock behind it. I position so I land on that; it cuts the falling damage tremendously. Since falling damage is somewhat greater than linear when calculated, taking two smaller falls hurts less than one big fall. Long fight though.

The Curator: Not as tough as it seems at first. He’s immune, but his sparks arent. Trick is just to disease the sparks without killing em. Usually means diseasing one, and the pesting it to another spark and healing off it, since the first one already died. Since bloods heals are influenced by max health, a stamina scroll, stoneblood flask, etc, all come in handy to maximize what you get. Vamp Blood + Mark of Blood on the boss helps too.

Buru & Waspwhateverhernameis: Buru sucks. I bypassed him really after trying a couple times. And the wasp cant be done just due to mechanics (re: sacrifice).

How long have you been at it?

5- 9 months, off and on. I first cleared MC solo in late June / early July. Took til couple weeks ago to see an eye drop. I collected the mats for the hammer from various places (including snitching some Ingots from the alliance ah via Booty Bay) and have had the base hammer since November waiting on the Eye to drop.

I do want Thunderfury. I’ve stopped clearing the whole place for now, since it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours with help, 3-4 solo. There were weeks I’d miss it cause of the time takes. Ill probably get back to clearing it though cause me and my friend both want to max that reputation with the Hydraxians. I just drop in for Geddon now, still trying for that 2nd binding. Takes only 10 minutes (mole machine to BRD bar, talk to the waitress to get the door open, swim to MC, run to Geddon, bim bam boom).

Solo tank spec

What spec do you recommend, and what do you use, and do you need two different specs or just the one?

Blood. I hate blood personally, but for soloing this stuff it’s really the only way to go. With the other two specs some of it is possible, but you lose damage every time you go to DS, and some of these bosses have time limits. And you have no other healing abilities besides ghoul sac unless you go blood. For stuff that mind controls (Hakkar, Jindo, Skeram off top of my head) I do not spec bloodworms cause even those will trigger it and reset the fight. Also means no ghoul for those fights, even for the 1 second it takes to sac it. The survival raid tank spec is a good start point. WotN is nice since they took the limitation away again.

This spec is what I’m using currently since I dont need the bloodworms so much anymore (re: hp scaling heals). If a fight really needs it I go adjust as needed (for example I’d get bloodworms again if I was killing Curator).

What’s your gear like, do you wear dps gear/ tank spec, tank gear/tank spec sometimes, any example bosses?

Gear wise I’m doing ok. I dps primarily (consistant 2nd or 3rd in the 25m) so my tank gear hasnt been upgraded in months. Ramadi’s axe, 2pc t9 + 2pc10, 8k ap without procs in a raid, mostly 251/264, couple 245′s left, etc.

For tank gear, mostly 232, couple 245s, and a pair of 200 boots because Forge of Souls hates me. But like I said, in raids I primarily dps. On our last fester attempt that I ran a log on I peaked at around 8600ish. Only a few people need work yet and once we get em set we’ll get past that massive ugly gear check and further into ICC. Unholy spec, but I look forward to the return of classic 2h frost strike….I can dream cant I ?

What gear set and spec combinations do you use?

  • Luci: tank gear
  • Maggy: dps gear
  • Gehennas: dps gear, since when you have a buddy and sufficient dps gear, the survival stats dont come into play as much. Restoration pot, lots of luck. Or just tank gear + a decursing buddy. I need to try soloing gehennas again without a buddy using just my normal tank and/or dps gear, see how it stands now with the better gear. Before in either set, just couldnt keep up enough healing to overcome the -75% debuff and constant shadowbolting.
  • Garr: dps gear, down all teh adds first
  • Geddon: Geddon with Toc/icc level dps gear, I stopped using resist/tank gear on him when I had a buddy willing to decurse.
  • arcane magic guy: dps gear (rofl, dies in like 30 seconds, hes cake)
  • Sulferon: tank gear + 20 minutes to run the healers out of mana. High level ICC (ie last wing+ and/or heroic) dps gear could be a possibilty; would really speed him up. Will find out once I get that gear.
  • Golem: tank gear, deathstrike doggies when need to drop the stacks
  • Domo: dps gear (Cake walk)
  • Rag: tank gear overlayed by fire resist gear. theres one side with a column, position so the knock up lands you on that. 3k falling dmg versus 19k falling dmg.

I only have about 21k hp fighting Rag and Geddon. but the 420+ FR really helps to reduce the dmg intake. for rag makes it so the (unresistable) knock up falling damage is the main source of damage. And I use that Lesser Flask of Resistance when resists come into play. As alchemist with mixology it reduces the amount of resist gear I need to equip.

Tips and tricks

Any sneaky tricks and tips you’d like to share?

The aforementioned shortcut to MC is useful though.

The column in raggy’s lair to land on. Using his sons of flame to heal up, and even get your CD’s refreshed if you need too, can help.

Use dps gear where you can get it away with it, it speeds things up a lot, and dpending on fight can make it easier. Off top of my head: Maggy, Garr, Geddon, Shaz, Domo can all be done with dps gear. I wish I could do Sulf with dps gear and burn those healers down (and might be doable soon with a couple more upgrades), but they just LOVE to heal to full form 1%. Takes a bit to run em dry, but its easier to wear tank gear and avoid the long corpse run back.

Bring a stack of Restoration potions. Use 1 after Lucifron, when the corehounds give you the -35% sta debuff, etc.

On Luci, you can do infinite Heart Strikes cause of his debuff bugging the death runes, but your DS needs 2U 2F (or really 4 Death Runes since they’ll be bugged).

On Golemagg stack up the dot however high you feel, I take it to 35 or so but 25 is good for starts, and then switch to a doggy (DONT Heart Strike) to let it fall off. Too high and you outpace your heals.

Oh, there is one sneaky trick: Netherspite, drop DND in his path and run out, and you can avoid the beams entirely. Alternatively, you can stand in a corner so you get all 3 beams, but if you dont kill him in one phase cycle you’re screwed cause now youre immune to all 3 beams and he’s gonna heal to full.


Comment here on in the forum thread.

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6 comments to DK tank doing solo raid content

  • Filip Strand

    Nice article you got here,helped me alot. Just thought I’d share,thanks :)

  • Chahchee

    I bet this list of solable content has expanded since 4.0.1.  Not having to disease in order for DS to work makes the curator fight a total cakewalk, and I imagine it has made many MC fights much less difficult.

    No mention of ZA here, I’ve found that Gehennas is far more difficult than many ZA bosses (haven’t tried him again since 4.0.1).

    What about world spawns or Mag/Gruul?  I tried Mag the other day and got totally creamed.  I solo clear all of Kara, ZG, and several ZA bosses, but I don’t know Mag is doable.

  • Qlimax

    Mag is solable now, I did it every week ends for money (500 po in 5 min ..)
    Za – ZG – MC – Aq20 are easy too. BWL requires a dispeller for Chromaggus, and a second person for Razorgore.
    I’m trying Black temple for now …
    Oh and Kael Thas is my next target : 9% best try atm !

  • Rope

    Looking forward to trying Kael myself, haven’t tried him before.

    I tried Gruul’s lair, but you definitely need to have a group in order to get by High King. I doubt that fight can be solo’d – but if anyone has, I would love to hear how they did it.

    I think Sapphiron in Naxx 10 can be done. I tried in my current tank set – all i346 gear with all the rep tank epics. I got her to about 20% before the enrage timer went off. Keeping myself healed was a non-issue. If I swapped in some dps gear I might have been able to squeeze out some more dps to down her.

    I could see her being downed by the end of this raid tier, at the latest the next tier.

  • weaverk

    how can one solo mag atm? he always despawns on me, before the talent changes raegwyn used the perma-ghoul, but thats no longger an option and i cannot live long enough without being specced blood currently :P
    qlimax maybe you can suggest your strat? ^^

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