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Blood Death Knight Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Oct 04, 2016 at 17:40 by Vlad 119 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Blood Death Knights in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Blood Death Knight guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Volstatsz, a Blood Death Knight theorycrafter and moderator for the Acherus Death Knight community. You can follow him on Twitter.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
56 Bloodworms Bloodworms Heartbreaker Heartbreaker Blooddrinker Blooddrinker
57 Rapid Decomposition Rapid Decomposition Soulgorge Soulgorge Spectral Deflection Spectral Deflection
58 Ossuary Ossuary Blood Tap Blood Tap Anti-Magic Barrier ? Anti-Magic Barrier
60 Mark of Blood Mark of Blood Red Thirst Red Thirst Tombstone Tombstone
75 Tightening Grasp Tightening Grasp Tremble Before Me ? Tremble Before Me March of the Damned March of the Damned
90 Will of the Necropolis Will of the Necropolis Rune Tap ? Rune Tap Foul Bulwark Foul Bulwark
100 Bonestorm ? Bonestorm Blood Mirror ? Blood Mirror Purgatory Purgatory

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Tier 1 (Level 56) Talents

Bloodworms Bloodworms Heartbreaker Heartbreaker Blooddrinker Blooddrinker
  • Bloodworms Icon Bloodworms is a passive ability which gives your auto attacks a chance to summon a Bloodworm. Bloodworms persist for 15 seconds, during which time they deal damage to your target, and at the end of their duration they burst, healing you for 5% of your missing health. If at any point you drop below 50% health, your existing Bloodworms burst immediately and heal you.
  • Heartbreaker Icon Heartbreaker causes your Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike to generate 3 additional Runic Power for each target it hits.
  • Blooddrinker Icon Blooddrinker is an active, channeled ability with a 3-second duration and a 30-second cooldown. While channeling Blooddrinker, you drain health from the target (it loses it and you receive it as healing). While channeling Blooddrinker, you can still parry, dodge, and use defensive abilities (notably, Death Strike Icon Death Strike does not count as a defensive ability).

Heartbreaker Icon Heartbreaker is the best choice in this tier, due to the passive Runic Power it generates. The Bloodworms Icon Bloodworms do not heal for enough to make them viable (not to mention that the fact that they heal on a fixed timer makes them unreliable). Blooddrinker Icon Blooddrinker does not provide anywhere near the healing it would need in order to compete with Heartbreaker.

3. Tier 2 (Level 57) Talents

Rapid Decomposition Rapid Decomposition Soulgorge Soulgorge Spectral Deflection Spectral Deflection
  • Rapid Decomposition Icon Rapid Decomposition causes your Death and Decay to tick 50% faster (while retaining its total duration, leading to more damage). Also, while standing inside your own Death and Decay, you generate 15% more Runic Power.
  • Soulgorge Icon Soulgorge is an active ability that consumes any Blood Plague Icon Blood Plagues on enemies within 30 yards of you, dealing damage to each target, and granting you a 24-second buff that increases your Rune Regeneration rate for each Blood Plague that Soulgorge consumed. The amount of increased Rune Regeneration depends on how much time was left on the Blood Plague when it was consumed (with plagues closer to expiration granting more Rune regeneration), but each Blood Plague can grant up to a 15% increase. Moreover, choosing Soulgorge as your talent causes Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil to no longer apply Blood Plague.
  • Spectral Deflection Icon Spectral Deflection passively causes attacks that deal more than 25% of your maximum health in damage to automatically consume a second Bone Shield charge (further reducing damage taken).

The best talent in this tier is currently Rapid Decomposition Icon Rapid Decomposition, as it provides increased Runic Power generation which results in more Death Strike Icon Death Strikes and therefore in better overall damage mitigation. Spectral Deflection Icon Spectral Deflection is currently too weak to be considered, while Soulgorge Icon Soulgorge is even weaker, providing barely any benefit at all over simply having no talent (while also making the playstyle significantly more difficult).

It is worth noting that with the Spectral Deflection Icon Spectral Deflection talent, keeping up Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield becomes practically impossible without huge amounts of Haste (more than can be reasonably attained during progression).

4. Tier 3 (Level 58) Talents

Ossuary Ossuary Blood Tap Blood Tap Anti-Magic Barrier ? Anti-Magic Barrier
  • Ossuary Icon Ossuary causes your Death Strike Icon Death Strike to cost 5 less Runic Power when you have 5 or more Bone Shield charges. Additionally, Ossuary passively increases your maximum Runic Power by 10.
  • Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap is an active ability with 2 charges and 1-minute recharge time, which generates 1 Rune when used. Blood Tap's recharge time is reduced by 1 second whenever a Bone Shield charge is consumed.
  • Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier causes Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell to also increase your maximum health by 25% for 10 seconds.

Ossuary Icon Ossuary is a great talent, and the best choice in this tier. Not only does it provide you with more Runic Power (by reducing the cost of Death Strike Icon Death Strike), but the increase in maximum Runic Power capacity makes the playstyle easier and more relaxed (the most notable benefit being that you can save up enough Runic Power for 3 Death Strikes).

Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier could be considered an alternative in the case of an encounter where you want to avoid being one-shot, but this should be a very rare occurrence.

Finally, Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap is simply not worth taking at the moment.

5. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Mark of Blood Mark of Blood Red Thirst Red Thirst Tombstone Tombstone
  • Mark of Blood Icon Mark of Blood is an active ability with a 30-second cooldown that marks a target for 25 seconds. During this time, the target's auto attacks cause their target to be healed for 2% of their maximum health.
  • Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst causes the cooldown of Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood to be reduced by 1 second for each 6 Runic Power spent.
  • Tombstone Icon Tombstone is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown which consumes all your Bone Shield charges. This grants you an 8-second damage absorption shield, the size of which is based on the amount of Bone Shield charges consumed (3% of your maximum health per charge), and it also grants you 3 Runic Power for each charge consumed.

Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst is the best talent in this tier. It further improves your already-best defensive cooldown, making it an excellent choice.

Mark of Blood Icon Mark of Blood might be of use in certain situations in the future, but it is currently too weak to consider. Tombstone Icon Tombstone is not currently competitive either.

6. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Tightening Grasp Tightening Grasp Tremble Before Me ? Tremble Before Me March of the Damned March of the Damned
  • Tightening Grasp Icon Tightening Grasp passively reduces the cooldown of your Gorefiend's Grasp Icon Gorefiend's Grasp by 60 seconds, and also causes your Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay to slow the movement speed of enemies inside of it by 70%.
  • Tremble Before Me Icon Tremble Before Me grants your Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay a chance on each tick to cause enemies affected by it to cower in place for 3 seconds. The chance to fear increases progressively with each tick. An enemy cannot be affected by this more often than once every 10 seconds, and damage taken may cancel the effect.
  • March of the Damned Icon March of the Damned increases the duration of Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk by 50%, and causes it to break stun, snare, and root effects when used.

The choice in this tier comes down to either Tightening Grasp Icon Tightening Grasp or March of the Damned Icon March of the Damned. Tightening Grasp is recommended if the fight requires you to make use of Gorefiend's Grasp Icon Gorefiend's Grasp, whereas otherwise you should use March of the Damned.

Tremble Before Me Icon Tremble Before Me is currently useless in raiding content, although it is a good choice for Mythic+ dungeons.

7. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Will of the Necropolis Will of the Necropolis Rune Tap ? Rune Tap Foul Bulwark Foul Bulwark
  • Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis causes any damage you take when you are below 35% health to be reduced by 20%.
  • Rune Tap Icon Rune Tap is an active ability with 2 charges and a 25-second recharge time. When activated, it consumes a Rune to grant you 25% damage taken reduction for 3 seconds.
  • Foul Bulwark Icon Foul Bulwark causes your maximum health to be increased by 2% for each charge of Bone Shield you have.

The default choice in this tier should be Foul Bulwark Icon Foul Bulwark, which provides excellent synergy with Ossuary Icon Ossuary and increases your survivability by buffing the healing of your Death Strike Icon Death Strike (due to your increased maximum health).

Rune Tap Icon Rune Tap is currently sub-optimal both in terms of DPS and healing. It only has niche usage on the Cenarius encounter in The Emerald Nightmare, in order to mitigate the size of Spear of Nightmare pools.

Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis is not currently viable.

8. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Bonestorm ? Bonestorm Blood Mirror ? Blood Mirror Purgatory Purgatory
  • Bonestorm Icon Bonestorm is an active ability with a 1-minute cooldown, which consumes all of your Runic Power. It lasts 1 second for each 10 Runic Power it consumes, and while active, it deals Shadow damage every 1 second to enemies around you, and also heals you for 1% of your maximum health each time it deals damage.
  • Blood Mirror Icon Blood Mirror is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown, which applies a 10-second debuff to an enemy. While the debuff is active, 20% of the damage that is dealt to you is redirected to the target affected by Blood Mirror.
  • Purgatory Icon Purgatory passively allows you to survive a killing blow, once every 3 minutes. The attack that would otherwise kill you places a 3-second healing absorption debuff on you instead. The debuff absorbs healing equal to the amount of damage that the killing blow would have done to you. While the debuff is active, you cannot be killed, and any damage taken is added to the healing absorption effect. If the effect is still present when the 3 seconds run out (meaning, if you have not been healed for the entire amount by then), you will die.

The best talent and the default choice in this tier should be Purgatory Icon Purgatory, which provides an amazing boost to your survivability. In the event that the encounter poses no risk of dying at all, then you should choose a different talent.

Blood Mirror Icon Blood Mirror is a single target DPS increase, which you can also use to mitigate damage in the event of predictable, high damage periods.

Alternatively, you can use Bonestorm Icon Bonestorm, which is an AoE DPS increase and which can also be used to gain some survivability against many enemies.

9. ChangeLog

  • 04 Oct. 2016: Tweaked and improved the descriptions and discussions of several talents, although no recommendations have changed (except for Tremble Before Me being viable in Mythic+ dungeons).
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 21 Aug. 2016: Updated the descriptions of Tremble Before Me and Red Thirst to account for a recent hotfix.
  • 22 Jul. 2016: Fixed a small issue in the description of Tombstone.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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