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World of Warcraft Classes Death Knight «Blood»

Blood Death Knight PvE Guide (WoW Legion 7.3.5)

A Death Knight specialized in Blood protects their allies with crude power, dark magic and various manipulations with the enemy’s blood. Unlike that of many other tanks of different classes, Death Knight’s tanking model is more bound to receiving damage and instantly restoring it.



Let’s take a closer look at the weakest and the strongest aspects of this specialization:


  • High self-healing;
  • Opportunity to grant the self-healing effect to their group;
  • Nice continuous damage decrease;
  • Opportunity to kite on a small area;


  • Low mobility;
  • Average surviving from frequent magic damage;

Basic information on the spec:

Like any other Death Knight spec, this one uses 2 resources: Runes and Runic Power (hereinafter, RP). Runes should always be ready before the combat. After being used, Runes start to restore. Only 3 Runes can be restoring at the same time. Rune’s restoring speed depends on Haste value. Runic Power is somewhat similar to Fury – you can store it and spend it.

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Main abilities

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General information. On achieving several new levels you’ll get access to new talent ‘Tiers’. Talents may have different effect on abilities: add new features, replace old ones, modify passively different effects and spells. Talents can be changed in Sanctuaries or any recreational zones. However, if you don’t have any of those places nearby you can use the Codex of the Tranquil Mind which allows you to switch channels within a minute. You can’t change talents in combat. You can’t change a talent if the talent you’ve picked in the last Tier is on Cooldown. You’ll have to wait until it’s restored first.

Tier 1. Lvl 56.

  • Bloodworms. Critical auto-attacks summon worms which live for 15 secs. After that, they explode, and restore 15% of the absent HP. If you happen to go below 50% of your HP, Bloodworms explode tight away and restore your whole HP stock.
  • Blooddrinker. This is a maintenance spell. For 3 secs (less given higher Haste value) you steal Health from your target for 1 Rune. You can relocate and employ defensive abilities during the cast.

* At the moment, there are no alternatives to Blooddrinker. Get it in any case.


Tier 2. Lvl 57.

  • Spectral Deflection. When receiving damage that exceeds 25% of your max HP, an additional charge of Bone Shield is consumed which increases the damage lowering rate.

* Rapid Decomposition is your default choice because it generates RP. Sometimes you may need Spectral Deflection if you’re facing long and painful butt-kicking.


Tier 3. Lvl 58.

  • Blood Tap. Generates 1 Rune. 2 charges. CD 1 min. CD decreases by 2 secs with each spent Bone Shield.

* Ossuary is your default talent as it saves you a lot of RP. Other talents are weak as opposed to this one, but don’t ignore them completely, especially if you have to stand through massive instant damage (Maiden of Vigilance’s Hammer of Creation in the Tomb of Sargeras, for example). In cases like that Anti-Magic Barrier is recommended.


Tier 4. Lvl 60.

  • Mark of Blood. For 30 RP, it marks your enemy with a debuff that hits the target with auto-attacks causing it to restore you 3% of the target’s max HP.
  • Tombstone. Consume 5 charges of Bone Shield, and for each charge, you get 6 RP and a shield for 6% of your max HP for 8 secs. CD 1 min.

* Red Thirst is a default choice making your Vampiric Blood ‘s CD about 45 secs. There is a theoretical situation where you could use Mark of Blood – you’ll have to tank with a weak partner sometime; but it is really hard to think of a situation where you could possibly need Tombstone. With 2T21 Tombstone can be used for slightly dps increase, but not for surviveability.


Tier 5. Lvl 75.

  • Tremble Before Me. Enemies damaged by your Death and Decay may get up in fear for 3 secs. For each target, it works no oftener than once in 10 secs. Damage dealt to those targets may cancel the effect.
  • March of the Damned. Wraith Walk works 100% longer, and cancels any stunning, slowing and petrifying effects when cast.

It’s your pick, but usually it’s down to either Tightening Grasp or March of the Damned. Just get whatever suits your current situation best.


Tier 6. Lvl 90.

  • Rune Tap. For 1 Rune, you get to decrease the incoming damage by 40% for 3 secs. 2 charges, CD 25 secs.
  • Foul Bulwark. Every Bone Shield charge increases max Health by 2%.

* Foul Bulwark is the strongest talent in any situation. That’s why – even if you need Rune Tap – it is extremely recommended you have the Legendary Soul of the Deathlord so that you don’t deprive yourself of Foul Bulwark. If you don’t have the Legendary ring, but you still need to lower the incoming burst damage, you’ll have to get Rune Tap.


Tier 7. Lvl 100.

  • Bonestorm. Demands 10 to 100 RP. Effect duration depends on how much you spend. Each 10 RP = 1 sec. The effect itself deals dark magic damage to all the enemies around you. Each hit on an enemy restores 2% of your max HP which lands you a nice heal on AoE. CD 1 min.
  • Blood Mirror. Applies a 10-sec effect on your enemy redirecting 20% of the damage received by you to that selected target. 2 min CD.
  • Purgatory. Cheat Death. Allows you to survive a deadly hit. This situation enables a 3-sec buff that absorbs healing equal to damage prevented that way. The effect gets cancelled if you receive enough healing. Otherwise you die. The effect works no more than once every 4 min, tracked by the debuff. Death cancels the effect which enables Purgatory to act during the next attack fatal for you.

* In progress, it’s really useful to have an opportunity to survive various things which makes Purgatory the obvious pick. If you do not intend to die, use the other 2 talents depending on the type of your encounter: Bonestorm for AoE, and Blood Mirror for single target.

All in all, your basic universal build is like this: 3112133

  1. Blooddrinker
  2. Rapid Decomposition
  3. Ossuary
  4. Red Thirst
  5. Tightening Grasp
  6. Foul Bulwark
  7. Purgatory

But tanking demands you to be very peculiar about every encounter. So remember your talents and their properties as well as of what use they can be in different situations.


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Unlike talents, in the weapons branch there is no choice of what you can and what you can’t take. With the current Artifact Knowledge, the order of artifact acquisition is insignificant as to open all the traits, you only need to earn 2.23 billion artifact power which is extremely easy to do just over the first few minutes after you’ve reached level 110.


Specialization Blood uses 1 Blood, 1Shadow and 1 Iron relic.

Picking Blood relics is pretty easy: just get whatever has higher relic item level as it gives you more surviving than any other trait due to increasing the damage dealing of a weapon per sec and other key characteristics.

If you’re picking out of relics with the same ilvl, favor Carrion Feast, Veinrender and Dance of Darkness. It would also be nice to have one of Vampiric Fangs but you don’t need to collect them deliberately because most of the time this bonus is simply not used in its max capacity.

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Netherlight Crucible

Tier 1 of any relic allows you to increase your weapon’s ilvl by 5 points.

Tier 2. In general, the traits in this Tier are rather strong as compared to the regular traits or Tier 3 traits.

Master of Shadows is better than any other trait in terms of defensive properties.

Shadowbind and Chaotic Darkness are also good.

Not bad are: Murderous Intent, Torment the Weak, Light Speed and Refractive Shell.

Tier 3. Follow the priorities described in the Relics section meaning you are always recommended to get Carrion Feast, Veinrender and Dance of Darkness. But don’t fall into the trap if, to get them, you have to choose a bad trait in Tier 2 while you could get something better.

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The Blood Death Knight has access to the total of 14 Legendaries. All of them can be divided into 3 groups: strong, average and… garbage. Let’s begin from the top.

Strong Legendaries:

  • Skullflower’s Haemostasis. Your Blood Boil empowers the next Death Strike by 20% regarding both damage and its healing effect. Stacked up to 5 times. The strongest Legendary for any situation. Increases survival due to the healing, mastery-driven absorbs and dps. Above that all, it has 2 of the best secondary stats.
  • Shackles of Bryndaor. Death Strike returns 15% of the RP spent on its use in case it restores more than 10% of your max HP. In general, this bonus works every time as your basic Death Strike heal cannot be lower than 10% of your max HP, plus, this effect is empowered by versatility. And there is always versatility in your gear, in some form, which means the effect is always active. This is second of the nest Legendaries on single target.
  • Soulflayer’s Corruption. This is your best Legendary on 3+ targets or at least on 2 targets with 100% uptime in combat. It goes particularly well with our golden trait number 3 – Umbilicus Eternus.
  • Soul of the Deathlord. Gives you Foul Bulwark, the strongest talent on its Tier in any situation. This gives us an amazing opportunity to get Rune Tap on the Tier without losing the stamina bonus.


Dumpside, or extremely occasional stuff:

  • Lana’thel’s Lament. A weakish bonus. It can, though, have a nice uptime if you remember to use Death and Decay.
  • Rattlegore Bone Legplates. Extremely peculiar. The second part of its bonus cold be interesting as it allows you to save a substantial amount of RP which enables the Death Strike to be used more times in a row, if necessary. All in all, this’s a weak Legendary.
  • Aggramar’s Stride. It is very weak as compared to all the other Legendaries but if you need running speed – why not? After all, Death Knights do struggle with mobility, don’t they?
  • Rethu’s Incessant Courage is a craft Legendary, incredibly weak in the bonus part. It is only worn before the first two Legendaries are received, since it’s better than wearing any of the other specialization’s Legendaries or wearing none at all.

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Let’s view 2 key points: using your abilities for dps, maintaining your survival and ueing defensive CDs.

Dealing DPS is as important as pressing defensive CDs as all your rotation dials down to spending Runes to maintain your Bone Shield stacks and to collect RP. The latter is later spent on Death Strike to heal effectively.

General priorities:

  1. Marrowrend to renew Bone Shield stacks, if they are about to be off per timer or just shortly, and you need to take a quick run somewhere; or in case they’re disappearing at all because of the incoming damage.
  2. Blood Boil, if there are enemies still uninfected with Blood Plague.
  3. Death and Decay per Crimson Scourge benefit. If you don’t have Rapid Decomposition, use it per benefit against 3 targets only, if it hits them.
  4. Death Strike, to avoid Runic Power capping.
  5. Marrowrend, if you’ve got less that 6 stacks of Bone Shield.
  6. You should have at least 3 Runes in CD all the tine. For that, use:
  1. Death and Decay per benefit with Rapid Decomposition, or, if you don’t have the talent, then against 1-2 targets.
  2. Consumption
  3. Blood Boil

* Use Death Strike in rotation when you need healing. It is best used immediately after you’ve received massive damage If you can use 2 Death Strike without overhealing – go ahead.

Combat starters:

  1. Prepot Potion of Prolonged Power
  2. Dark Command
  3. Death and Decay wherever you’re intending to keep the boss
  4. Blooddrinker on your way to the boss to kick up the aggro under taunt
  5. Dancing Rune Weapon
  6. Marrowrend
  7. Blood Boil


  • Anti-Magic Shell absorbs magic damage, for up to 30% of your max HP within 5 secs, and generates RP. Use it before receiving magic damage. Also keep in mind that it allows you to avoid the overlapping of malicious magic effects like Molten Armor in Gorgoth.
  • Dancing Rune Weapon is used per CD, and in 90% cases it’s used for a dps up which eventually leads to stacking up Bone Shield. If you’re using Skullflower’s Haemostasis, remember that one use of Blood Boil gives you 3 stacks right away. So avoid using double Boil so that 1 of your stacks doesn’t go in vain. As a defensive CD, Dancing Rune Weapon can be used when entering a combat with massive physical damage coming in.
  • Vampiric Blood together with the talent Red Thirst allows to use it frequently. If you want to use Service of Gorefiend, too, the CD is in about 30 secs. Don’t let this CD chill much, unless you’re not planning on surviving some massive damage any time soon, of course.
  • Keep in mind that due to Mastery, your Death Strike also gives you a shield protecting from physical damage which sometimes allows you to work with the part of the damage in a preventive mode. For example, during the phase when you’re tanking a boss. before taking it off your second tank you have a chance to stack a huge set of absorbs on those auto-attacks in advance.

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The characteristic stats look somewhat like this:

Ilvl (Stamina/Strength) > Haste >= Versatility > Crit >= Mastery

Before picking equipment, remember this very important rule somewhat similar to that of the relics: the items’ level! These conditions are to be accounted for before considering the item’s characteristics:

  • For any armor slot a 5 ilvl increase is enough.
  • For garments (neck, rings), 10 lvl increase is enough.
  • The gems’ slot is about 5 ilvl.
  • Avoidance also makes about 5 ilvl but only when dealing with AoE mechanics (e.g. Maiden of Valor’s Unbound Chaos is some really terrible damage dealer, so avoidance here is an extremely important issue.

Haste is our all. It increases the Rune’s restoring speed which enables you to use them more frequently, hence receive RP quicker. And RP helps you heal by Death Strike.

Versatility just increases your healing and dps but reduces the incoming damage. It’s all simple and clear.

Crit is a pure dps stat giving the least defensive properties out of all; maybe just Blood Plague, the golden trait Skeletal Shattering and the critical damage by Consumption.

Mastery – from the defensive viewpoint this is, for sure, an interesting stat. But it does scale terribly, though. And it works against the physics. As a result, if you don’t rely on it, surviving grows a lot less efficiently as compared to Haste or Versatility. As a dps stat, it’s about the value of Versatility.

Based on the aforementioned characteristics and results of your character’s own simulation results, you can draw conclusions on Gems, Chants and Raid Chemicals.

  1. Gems:
    Saber’s Eye of Strength. 200 Strength; only 1 item can be used in the whole equipment.

Versatile Labradorite or Quick Lightsphene

  1. Chants:
    – For the neck: Mark of the Heavy Hide for surviving; Mark of the Hidden Satyr – for dps.
    – Rings: Binding of Haste or  Binding of Versatility for surviving.
    – Cloak: Binding of Strength
  2. Food:
    Lavish Suramar Feast, 500 Strength (should be used in any dps spec)
  3. Flasks and Potions
    Flask of the Countless Armies. 1300 Strength for 1 hour. By default. If you need stamina for surviving massive simultaneous damage, use Flask of Ten Thousand Scars
    Potion of Prolonged Power. 2500 Agility for 1 min.

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Set bonuses





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Kick with a modifier, with the Shift key held, the ability is applied on a remembered target, without – on the current one.

/cast [mod:shift,@focus][]Mind Freeze


Combat resurrection at cursor’s position

#showtooltip Raise Ally
/cast [target=mouseover] Raise Ally


Death’s Caress at cursor’s position:

/cast [target=mouseover] Death's Caress


Death Grip at the cursor’s position; if there’s no target under the cursor, the grip is applied to the current target:

#showtooltip Death Grip
/cast [target=mouseover, exists] Death Grip; Death Grip