WoW Blood Death Knight Tank Guide
Table of Contents
WoW Blood Death Knight Introduction
Blood Death Knight is a uniquely interesting tank, where most tanks try to mitigate damage in some form, Bloods mitigation is healing itself back up which will
have you saying “I’m the Healer Now”, cause you will be topping the healing meters with huge absorbs and death strike healing. Blood offers a lot of anti mechanic abilities and control over the battlefield.
Blood is an interesting builder spender tank with two resources, two spenders, one builder with runes and runic power. Runic power is the lifeblood of the spec, if you can’t Death Strike, you die. Build Runic power through spending runes, spend by Death Striking.
Blood is in a funny state, its one of the lower dps Tank specs, but wields the highest amount of survivability.
WoW Blood Death Knight Strengths & Weaknesses
WoW Blood Death Knight Stats
Blood Death Knights are a Strength based plate wearing tank spec, Strength provides us with both offensive and defensive bonuses and should be prioritized in
- Haste: Haste directly increases the regeneration rate of our runes, this can be the more difficult secondary stat to gain while gearing should be be prioritizes until your comfortable in the rotation, you can only spend runes so quickly and proper play will cut off the benefit of haste stacking at a certain point.
- Critical Strike: Critical Strike increases our damage and offers us an enticing rate of conversion to parry. It is important to remember it is the stat itself that
increases parry and not the percentage. Parry for Blood Death Knights see’s more value in mythic plus than in raid, since more abilities are parry-able in keystones than raid most of the time.
- Mastery: In previous expansions, Blood Shield was relatively weak, but with new talent options, Mastery can now grant us a massive physical absorb shield, it is to be noted, physical, but in higher content while magic damage may chunk bigger hits, most damage taken is physical hits. Blood Shield has now begun to compete and depending on encounter can surpass Death Strike Healing at times.
- Versatility: Increase Damage and healing done, and decrease damage taken(50% value). This used to be our triple threat all around go to stat for blood, and while it’s not to be ignored, the other stats for blood have increased value from previous expansions. Versatility is a smart stat to invest in while learning the spec or encounters, counterplay is key component to Blood death knight survivability and sometimes that comes with practice and experience.
Haste = Mastery > Critical Strike > Versatility
WoW Blood Death Knight Enchants, Gems & Consumables
- Focus on Haste gems until comfortable than begin to shore up Mastery and Critical strike gains.
- Death Knights have access to Runeforging, Rune of the Fallen Crusader is the all around best enchant for Blood. Use your Death Gate to the Ebon hold and use the Rune forger, to apply to your weapon.
- For weapon consumables, the Howling Rune provides a sizable haste bonus for 2 hours, to be used in all content.
- Eye of the Storm: Gain a strength boost stacking times 5 based on enemies that have hit you.
- Tepid Versatility: This phial is cheap and grats you a chunk of versatility.
- Glacial Fury: Like Frozen Devotion, this is also a damage proc Phial that only has offensive benefits, but can do a lot of damage if you aren’t worried about yourself defensively.
- Cloaks: Avoidance or Speed(we’re wheelchairs).
- Bracers: Avoidance or speed are solid options here depending on content.
- Rings: Devotion of Haste, Mastery, or Critical Strike depending on which stat you need.
- Boots: Watch’s Loam, a nice stamina increase
- Pants: Fierce armor kit
- Chest: Waking Stats is a simple primary stat buff.
WoW Blood Death Knight Basics
WoW Blood Death Knight Talents
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WoW Blood Death Knight Core Abilities
- Death’s Advance: Grants immunity to movement effects and knockbacks, your speed is also increased by 35%. You cannot be slowed below 70% movement speed. This trivializes a lot of difficult movement based encounters.
- Death Grip: If you’ve ever played Scorpion in Mortal Kombat, “Get over here!”, well it draws the targeted enemy towards you. This ability also taunts the target and acts as a great single target stop.
- Death and Decay: Place D&d on the ground at the cost of one rune, gain multiple effects from other talents.
- Synergistic talents: Cleaving Strikes, Unholy Ground, Sanguine Ground, Shattering Bone, Rapid Decomposition.
- Lichborne: Grants you immunity to Charm, Fear and Sleep effects and increases your leech by 10% for 10s.
- Raise Ally: Battle Rez
WoW Blood Death Knight Class Tree
The class tree for Blood offers a lot of utility defensively and offensively and offers us customizability of our abilities. Unfortunately, the tree can feel rather rigid going down due to the strengths of our capstones, pretty much needing to get down to Empower Rune Weapon and Abomination Limb forces us down some pathing options we could be using differently.
- Chains of Ice(default): Reduces the target’s movement by 70% for 8s at the cost of one Rune.
- Mind Freeze(default): Your interrupt, baseline 15s cooldown and locks enemies out of the casted school of magic.
- Cold Thirst(flex): A returning shadowlands conduit, successfully interrupting an enemy reduces the cooldown of Mind Freeze by 3s and grants you 10 Runic Power. While 3s doesn’t sound like a lot it allows Blood Death to solo kick a lot of encounters that usually require a kick rotation.
- Blinding Sleet(flex): Targets in a cone in front of you become blinded, disoriented for 5s, Damage breaks the effect. A very useful AoE stop that Blood has sorely been lacking in previous expansions. When Blinding Sleet ends targets are slowed by 50%.
- Icebound Fortitude(default): A 30% Damage Reduction for 8s, also grants immunity to Stun Effects. Currently in Season 1, Thundering is our seasonal affix in mythic plus, if Thundering isn’t cleared you become stunned for 5s, this grants immunity to that if misplayed. There are also a lot of abilities coded as stuns in the game that can be immuned.
- Death Strike(baseline): At a variable runic power cost, depending on talent options, you heal for 25% of all physical damage taken in the last 5s, a minimum of 7%, there are other talents that increase this healing. As stated above, this is the lifeblood of the spec, you take damage, you heal yourself
- Anti-Magic Shell(default): Also known as anti-mechanic shell, grants you a magic absorb for 5s that also prevents the application of harmful effects. There are a large number of effects that you can simply ignore using this ability, Fel Detonation and Arcane Lockdown(Court of Stars), The Ritual of Bones wall in Shadowmoon Burial Grounds can also be walked right through. While the absorb itself will always be useful, the prevention of harmful applications really makes this ability borderline overpowered.
- Anti-Magic Barrier(flex): Increases the Absorb by 40% and reduces the cooldown by 20s. The more challenging the content, the more this talent is incredibly useful.
- Improved Death Strike(default): Increases the healing of Death Strike by 5% and reduces its runic power cost by 5.
- Veteran of the Third War(default): Stamina increased by 20%, while boring, more health means more hits, which equals more healing.
- Raise Dead(default): Raise a ghoul to come fight by your side for 1m.
- Cleaving Strikes(default m+): Heart Strikes up to 5 enemies inside your Death and Decay, since Death and Decay is vital to our gameplay(explained in further talent choices), this adds a core AoE component to our main runic power generator.
- Enfeeble(flex): Your ghouls attacks have a chance to apply enfeeble, reducing their movement speed by 30% and damage dealt to you by 15%. Sadly the uptime on this isn’t fantastic and a bit of RnG, Raise Ghoul does gain some small defensive benefit from its use.
- Brittle(flex): Your diseases have a chance to apply Brittle to the targets, increasing your attacks by 6% for 5s(15% proc chance). We apply plagues by using Blood Boil or Death’s Caress, in short, our plagues are always up, so this has a decently high uptime.
- Merciless Strikes(default): Increases Critical Strike by 2%, this talent is taken for pathing.
- Gloom Wards(default): Absorbs are 15% more effective on you. This is from all sources, internal and external. When combined with other talent options listed later, we really start to see absorbs shining in our kit.
- Runic Attenuation(default): Auto-attacks have a chance to generate 5 runic power. You’ll notice in damage breakdowns our melee white swings are a significant portion of our damage with talent options to speed them up, granting us approximately 10-11 procs per minute. Free resources are good.
- Anti-magic Zone(flex): Place an anti-magic zone on the ground, reducing magic damage to the group by 20% for 8s. This can be a powerful group utility, if you can convince your group to stand in it.
- Might of Thassarian(flex): While marked as flex we need it for pathing, and a 2% Strength increase for one talent point is fairly strong.
- Grip of the Dead(flex): Death and Decay reduces movement speed by 90%, decaying by 10% every second. With the frequency of our Death and Decay placements, this offers us a lot of battlefield control.
- Unholy Ground(default): Gain 5% haste while inside out Death and Decay. This is one of many talents that we’ll be utilizing to gain a lot of benefit from DnD. Blood really likes haste, and since we’re constantly in our DnD, this is a constant benefit.
- Insidious Chill(default): Your auto attacks reduce the target’s attack speed by 5% , stacking up to 4 times. In higher end content, auto-attacks really start to hurt and will be the most significant damage taken source.
- Icy Talons(default): Runic Power spending abilities increase your melee attack speed by 6% for 10s, stacking up to three times. Basically, Death Strike increases your auto-attack speed, a simple maintenance buff to gain more offensive value.
- Empower Rune Weapon(default): Gain 15% haste and generate 1 rune and 5 runic power instantly and then again every 5s for 20s. This was previously a frost death knight exclusive coming to blood in Dragonflight. This ability provides us with resource generation and a nice haste buff.
- Will of the Necropolis(default): Reduces damage taken by 30% while below 35% health. This is an incredibly strong ability with no internal cooldown. To be noted that you have to be below the health threshold to activate, and won’t trigger if you go from 100 to 0% health. Since Blood’s health loves to ping pong bounce, we activate this a lot and allow us to remain incredibly tanky at low health.
- Death’s Echo(default): Grants us a second charge of Death’s Advance, Death and Decay and Death Grip. This offers us more control and stops through Death Grips and gives us the many benefits of Death and Decay talents at almost full combat uptime.
WoW Blood Death Knight Class Tree Flex Points
Below I’ll be discussing what other flex options you can opt into by removing flex talents up above.
- Permafrost: Auto-attack damage grants you an absorb shield for 40% of the damage done. In higher end keys this talent falls out of favor, but while learning the spec, this can provide enough defensive benefit to warrant its selection.
- Acclimation: Reduces the cooldown of Icebound Fortitude by 60s. This is an optimal flex point for lots of encounters.
- Asphyxiate: A single target 5s stun on a 45s. More stops are always a good option.
- Sacrificial Pact: Sacrifice your ghoul to deal AoE shadow damage and heal for 25% of your maximum health. This can result as a nice healing defensive when in dire straits, given how much we heal with death strike, this isn’t the greatest option but not a bad one.
- Control Undead: Take control of an undead target for 5 minutes. Unfortunately there aren’t a lot of uses in Dragonflight as of now, In Nohkud Offensive you can take control of a Mystic for a very nice buff.
- Unholy Endurance: Increases the duration of Lichborne by 2s, and grants you a 15% damage reduction while active. This can add another defensive ability to our toolkit.
- Unholy Bond: Increases the effectiveness of your Rune Weapon enchant by 10% per point spent. Rune of