As a DPS, do you feel you use your defensive cooldowns well?

Honest question, and requires self criticism from some. Here are a few common groups, of course if you don’t fit please let me know what you think. Also we can throw healers in the mix too.

  1. Doesn’t even have it keybound. I know there are people like thisthanks to just starting omniCD. Recent example a feral in DoS who never once pressed barkskin, even when he died on Dealer and it would have probably saved him.

  2. Press it when you get low. This is the person who eats the mechanic and goes down to 30% and then panics and hit the button. Not ideal, but it does at least help prevent the next blow from killing him and let’s the healer catch up.

  3. Uses it frequently, but always at the same points. This person doesn’t uses it spontaneously, but at least uses it at crucial points like if they’re targeted by Echelon smash, or during Thrash from shards. Usually prevents one shot and helps the healer out in difficult times.

  4. The truly “perfect,” user. They have it ready to go but use it in what they consider the right circumstances. If noone is hurt and they’ll live they save it, if everyone is starting to get low they use to take stress off the healer. They plan ahead and won’t use it if they need it in the next 2 minutes. They may even know subtle tricks that can cheese mechanics and save total group wipes.

If anyone cares my dps alts are usually in group 2-3 depending how often I play them and how well I remember their abilities on the fly. My healer sadly used to be in 1 because infigured I could just heal myself after taking damage lol. She’s now also moving towards 3.

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I dont know. I only use icebound when im stunned, i have rune of spellwarding on my weapon so i have two ways to negate magic damage. Lichborne i use sometimes if its necessary.

Mostly i just blow my cds when a haste buff is given and if i time it right bron comes out during army, apocalypse and summon val’kier. Since bron does heal me a bit i dont have to use death strike as much.

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I didn’t even think about that category, classes with a self heal like DK and warrior, I’m sure there are others.

Doesn’t sound like you, but there are some frost DK who seemingly use death strike in their normal rotation. They’re always topped off but they also do like half the dps they should lol.

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I know with my warriors i always take the talent that changes the self heal ability so it no longer requires killing an enemy to activate and on my arms warrior i took a talent called second wind which gives permanent health regen out of combat.

Even on my alt frost dk i rarely use death strike unless its necessary. I only use death strike in my rotation on my alt blood dk. Since all I do is world stuff with her i pull tons of mobs and spam death strike over and over.

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I use my entire kit to ensure success

What else is it there for


I usually use it before the mechanic (thats the purpose of a defensive, right?), sometimes I use even if I dont know if i’m gonna get it, but may be the chosen one. Like the end corridor of SD, as a cloth character if the boss marks me in a 24+ key is certain death there, in this case I always use it before shes about to hit someone, if its me, i’m already protected.

My friend is definitely the “Panic” user. Dies often from mechanics and I scold him every time. He needs to learn to use them proactively and not reactively.

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As a healer I’m uniquely aware of high burst damage and routinely utilize my defensive cools downs.

DPS don’t seem to care. They don’t care about anything but DPS. If it interferes with their highly optimized rotations and their all import parse, it have zero value to them.

They would rather die and have the raid wipe than have their precious parse ruined.


Genuine question but what’s a “parse”?

measure of how well they’re doing vs their peers of the same spec in the same content.

Basically just an upload of the combat log that’s displayed and tracked in a way that’s helpful to read. Can also be used to figure out what someone might be doing wrong if they’re underperforming.

But ultimately when people say “parse” they mean their DPS (or HPS, but that gets messy) percentile on that kill. 97th percentile? Grats, very good! 13th percentile? Booooo! Bad!

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Ah ok

The farther I get in content, the better I become at using them. Lower content like low keys and heroic dungeons, dps personal defensives are rarely noticeable.

Later, when you can get one shot by something a mob does, it is imperative to success. And it’s sort of frustrating that a lot of these mechanics are ‘invisible’ such as a mob that does a heavy cleave that may or may not have a cast bar or a spell that more mobs than can be realistically interrupted is firing off at random people. Or mobs that have a reflect shield up that can kill you with one press of a button and there weren’t enough dispels to go off.

The best things to do would be to learn when you defensives are most powerful and use them before the damage. For example, my favorite current use is in Theater, the mage boss with the green lines and you usually have to soak in the circles when the thing drops on you so you immediately trap your ghost. Well, anti-magic shield stops that effect from happening to you if you pop it before the cast ends. You don’t have to move to a circle and you don’t get stunned or take damage.

Tricks like that make your defensives feel so good, and every class should figure out the best ways to use them. It’s just unfortunate that it’s very hard to learn, since they mostly don’t matter until they DO matter at a certain content threshold.

I try to use bark skin just before a big hit, it’s a work in progress.

But interrupting and soothing I’m pretty good. It amazes me how many DPS will not stop a spell cast.

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i just use 1 or 2 when i’m in danger i don’t have a really good strategy for it i guess

Well being a former Healer main and a current tank main, when I do play my lone and only DPS toon, my Warlock, I would consider myself an expert at using my defensive mitigation, healing, interrupt and other utility.

In fact, I wish everyone would at least level a tank and healer to 60 to play every now and again just to get a better perspective on being a better player.


I have one of every spec but i highly doubt ill ever be a good player no matter what I do

One of my beloved dps buddies who plays ret usually went heals to farm gear for his SO and has become ten times better about his own defensives and friendly mitigation/rescue abilities.

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I’m not weaving in a defensive cool down! Are you freaking NUTS!!!11!?

( Only kidding I do what I need to do no matter the roll. )

Yes sir. Playing support (tank/heal) classes is a great way to improve your overall awareness.

Now when Im on my Lock, I’m constantly more aware of mob patrols, incoming casts that need to be kicked, places where its worthwhile for me to switch pets to purge with Singe Magic, preemptively using Dark Pact before big damage goes out.

I know when a tank buster is coming that if I manage to take a good chunk of damage its a good time to pop a Healthstone and/or Drain Life.

Im not saying players cant do this on their own but time spent playing as tank and healer classes definitely has given me a broader perspective as a team player.

I play feral and I always use my defensive cooldowns because blizzard made us squishy the last couple of expansions.