The Blood Death Knight guide is written by Tokaine, and updated for Season 4 by Alex.
Hey! I’m Tokaine, the best tank you’ve never heard of and the number 1 advocate for T.D.M (Tank Damage Matters). I’ve been tanking since cataclysm, mainly playing protection warrior until legion where I branched out into other tank classes as I climbed the world ranks.
Now! Let's get into it. Blood Death Knight, otherwise known as the bouncy castle spec, or the number one cause of healer angst from your health yo-yo-ing up and down as you snipe all their precious heals.
Overall it is a pretty versatile class. You aren’t the fastest or strongest tank in the world however, you are versatile which can be an invaluable trait when it comes to what tanks you want to bring. Death Grip & Gorefiend's Grasp are both very strong tools when utilised properly on fights where they can shine.
Additionally, when it comes to tanks there are two types of play, proactive and reactive. Blood DK (BDK) is by far the most reactive tank out of all the classes to choose from. Our main bread and butter Death Strike allows us to heal a portion of the damage that was recently inflicted on us. Additionally, BDK has a wide variety of cooldowns. Although the cooldowns themselves may not be as potent as other tanks, the versatility of them allows for flexible planning on a fight by fight basis.
What has changed
Season 4 Blood Death Knight Changes
No changes have been made to Blood Death Knight in Season 4, so far. However, the new season does bring Fated Raids, a different set of a Mythic+ dungeons with a new seasonal affix and higher item level gear to go after. Read about the recommended gearing in the Gear Section of the guide.
9.2.5 Blood Death Knight Changes
- The First Eidolon’s Soulsteel (2-piece) set bonus: maximum Strength stack cap is now 40 (was 75).
At the start of the season Blood DK was unbelievably strong, this change to reduce the strength buff is reasonably inconsequential for survivability, but works out to about a 25-30% damage nerf. This was definitely justified.
9.2 Blood Death Knight Changes
- Final Sentence was changed to grant 4% damage per stack and an additional rune every time it spreads to a new target.
- Rampant Transference was increased from 2% per stack to 3% per stack.
- Abomination Limb had its damage increased by 20%
- Abomination’s Frenzy was buffed to give 20% increased damage when it grips, up from 10%.
Blood Death Knight Tier Sets
- Blood Death knight 2 set, Heart Strike, increases the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon by 0.5 seconds and additionally gives you a 1% strength increase per cast. This persists for 10 seconds after Dancing Rune Weapon ends.
- Blood Death knight 4 set, taking damage has a 100% chance equal to your parry chance to lash out, using Heart Strike. Dancing Rune Weapon summons an additional weapon.
9.1.5 Blood Death Knight Changes
- Abomination Limb is no longer target capped and deals reduced damage beyond 5 targets
- Sacrificial Pact, Consumption, and Bonestorm are no longer target capped and deal reduced damage above 8 targets
- Shackle the Unworthy has had its damage reduced by 10%; however, it now has a 100% chance to spread to nearby enemies (Previously was 50%)
- Both Withering Ground and Impenetrable Gloom have had their effect increased by 50%
- Consumption has received a 60% damage buff
- Debilitating Malady has had its effect increased by 600% (This still does not make it worth ever using!)
Blood DK received a flat 6% damage buff across the board to all of our abilities.
The 4 covenant specific legendaries are as followed:
- Kyrian - Final Sentence, this legendary gives your Shackle the Unworthy the added effect of increasing your damage by 2% every time it bounces as well as regenerating a rune, stacking up to a total of 5 times.
- Necrolord - Abomination’s Frenzy, this legendary increases the duration of Abomination Limb by 4 seconds and increases the frequency in which it grants Bone Shield charges by 2 seconds. Enemies that are gripped in by the ability will also take 10% increased damage from you for 12 seconds.
- Venthyr - Insatiable Hunger, this legendary gives your Swarming Mist a burst of AoE damage when it ends based on how much runic power you have spent while it is up, increasing by 2% for every 1 runic power. Additionally, you are healed for 25% of the damage dealt when it explodes.
- Night Fae - Rampant Transference, this legendary increases the effectiveness of your Death’s Due, increasing the strength gained by 1% per stack as well as making the effect last 2 seconds longer. Additionally, your runic power generation is increased by 20% while inside your Death’s Due.
- Fleshcraft became incredibly strong, increasing the shield amount as well as adding a 20% damage reduction buff while channeling. Additionally tanks are able to dodge, parry and block during the channel.
- Crimson Rune Weapon became a viable option for high uptime tanking fights as well as M+. It’s main benefit allows for Dancing Rune Weapon to have about a 50 second cooldown which is incredibly strong offensively and defensively.
- The biggest change from BFA to SL is Death Knights gaining Anti-Magic Zone; this is an exceptionally strong raid cooldown and gives BDK a lot of utility. Additionally, the abilities Lichborne, Rune Tap, Raise Dead and Death Coil are all baseline to the class.
- The playstyle of BDK is still the same as it was in BFA, we were just granted a few extra tools to make us more of a team player tank.