Dark Knight Openers and Rotation
DRK has several different options for openers, not all of which are listed here. Fight timings and party composition can both affect which opener is best, based on when you can keep uptime on the boss and when raid buffs are used. Fight-specific opener information can be found in #drk_encounter and #drk_questions (often in the pins). This section will list some General-purpose DRK openers which work relatively well in most situations.
Tanks currently use Grade 5 Tinctures of Strength (Strength also affects tank magic potency, including healing)
Goals for DRK openers include:
- Get Living Shadow out as early as possible; its long spawn animation means that any delays will push some hits out of raid buffs
- Get buffs like Blood Weapon and Delirium, and damaging abilities like Carve and Spit and Salted Earth on cooldown early
- Use as many big hits and spend as much MP as possible inside potion and raid buff windows (which typically come up around the third or fourth GCD)
Blood Weapon is used prepull to ensure that Living Shadow is used as soon as possible. Any later and a hit will get pushed out of raid buffs.
The prepull TBN is used to prevent MP overcap from the first Hard Slash under Blood Weapon, since if it breaks it refunds the MP cost in the form of a free Edge of Shadow.
- If the prepull TBN will not break, leave it out and overcap 600-800 MP before your first Edge of Shadow. This is generally a smaller loss than delaying Living Shadow.
Try to avoid pulling with Unmend, as doing so will delay Living Shadow. If you need to start with aggro, consider having your co-tank pull with stance on and use Provoke after your opener.
Best raid buff alignment and a good default choice
Text version: Prepull The Blackest Night > Prepull Blood Weapon just before pull > Hard Slash + Edge of Shadow + Delirium > Syphon Strike + Potion > Souleater + Living Shadow + Salted Earth > Hard Slash + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Bloodspiller + Carve and Spit + Plunge > Bloodspiller + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Bloodspiller + Salt and Darkness + Edge of Shadow > Syphon Strike + Plunge + Edge of Shadow
Early Delirium Opener
Useful if a fight benefits from a slightly earlier Delirium due to downtime or phasing
Text version: Prepull Delirium > Prepull The Blackest Night > Prepull Blood Weapon just before pull > Hard Slash + Edge of Shadow > Syphon Strike + Potion > Souleater + Living Shadow + Salted Earth > Bloodspiller + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Bloodspiller + Carve and Spit + Plunge > Bloodspiller + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Hard Slash + Salt and Darkness + Edge of Shadow > Syphon Strike + Plunge + Edge of Shadow
This opener should only be used if you need precise positioning on a boss early into the fight and can’t do that with a standard (facepull) opener, or if you need a precise pull time, as it delays Living Shadow out of raid buffs, as well as delaying your MP generation. Consider having the other tank pull instead, then Provoke from them if needed.
Text version: Prepull The Blackest Night > Unmend + Delirium + Blood Weapon > Hard Slash + Edge of Shadow > Syphon Strike + Potion > Souleater + Living Shadow + Salted Earth > Bloodspiller + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Bloodspiller + Carve and Spit + Plunge > Bloodspiller + Shadowbringer + Edge of Shadow > Hard Slash + Salt and Darkness + Edge of Shadow > Syphon Strike + Plunge + Edge of Shadow
Dark Knight’s rotation is deceptively simple, and follows these simple principles:
- Use Bloodspiller under raid buffs or to prevent overcapping on Blood Gauge.
- Use the Souleater combo (Hard Slash -> Syphon Strike -> Souleater) to fill remaining GCDs.
Use Edge of Shadow under raid buffs or to prevent overcapping on MP.
Hold both charges of Shadowbringer for 2-minute raid buffs.
Hold both charges of Plunge for 1-minute raid buffs, unless it can be used to maintain better uptime
Use other damaging or buffing oGCDs (such as Salted Earth, Carve abd Spit, Blood Weapon, and Delirium) on cooldown.
- Your second Blood Weapon (around 1:00) can (and should) be delayed by 3 GCDs (with the standard opener, 2 GCDs with the Unmend opener) to avoid overcapping MP/Blood Gauge before raidbuffs.
Using Blood Weapon and Delirium
Blood Weapon should be weaved at least two-thirds of the way into the GCD roll in order to cover five GCDs.
Because spells (e.g. Unleash) have a longer recast time than weaponskills due to skill speed, it can be much harder to get five GCDs in Blood Weapon while using AoE. By spending Blood Gauge or stacks from Delirium, you can use Bloodspiller/Quietus for the shorter recast, mitigating this issue.
The second Blood Weapon in the fight can (and should) be delayed by 3 GCDs (with the standard opener, 2 GCDs with the Unmend opener) to avoid overcapping Blood and MP before raid buffs.
Since you cannot spend Blood Gauge with Bloodspiller/Quietus during Delirium, there is a risk of overcapping on Blood Gauge while both Delirium and Blood Weapon are active. This can be avoided (with common alignment of Blood Weapon and Delirium) by ensuring that you are below 50 Blood Gauge when pressing Blood Weapon (if Blood Weapon is before Delirium) or Delirium (if Delirium is before Blood Weapon). Note that if Living Shadow is coming up, you may want to go into Blood Weapon/Delirium at higher Blood Gauge, knowing that you can use Living Shadow to avoid overcapping.
Pooling Resources for Raid Buffs
Edge of Shadow and Bloodspiller can be delayed without loss, as long as MP and Blood do not overcap. Dark Knight is thus uniquely able to pool a massive amount of potency for use during party raid buff windows, which typically come in multiples of 60 seconds.
Dark Knight generates around 12000 MP per minute, from a combination of Blood Weapon, Syphon Strike, Carve and Spit, Delirium, and natural MP regen ticks. Since MP caps at 10000, we delay the first (and only the first) Blood Weapon after the opener in full uptime to prevent overcapping before raid buffs come out, allowing four Edge of Shadow to naturally fall in every 1-minute raid buff window.
By using The Blackest Night (TBN) outside of buffs, it is possible to use the resulting Dark Arts, 9000+ MP, and the MP from Blood Weapon to get five Edge of Shadow (EoS) under raid buffs. Since Dark Knight only generates 12000 MP per minute, this fifth EoS is effectively being delayed from the previous minute. This then makes it possible to spend five EoS during the stronger even-minute buffs (0m, 2m, 4m, …) and only three during the odd-minute buffs, plus a TBN somewhere between the odd-minute buffs and the even-minute buffs.
Similarly, try to use three Blood Gauge spenders (i.e. Living Shadow, Bloodspiller) during every 1-minute raid buff window.