Blood Death Knight Tank Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (WoD 6.0.2)

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Blood Death Knight Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Blood Death Knights in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.2. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs 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 Reniat, the author of the Blood Death Knight guides on the Official Forums and MMO-Champion.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Death Knight Transition Guide!

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
56 Plaguebearer Plague Leech Unholy Blight
57 Lichborne Anti-Magic Zone Purgatory
58 Death's Advance Chilblains Asphyxiate
60 Blood Tap Runic Empowerment Runic Corruption
75 Death Pact Death Siphon Conversion
90 Gorefiend's Grasp Remorseless Winter Desecrated Ground
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

Talents can easily be changed, thanks to Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind. You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 offers you a choice between 3 talents that interact with your diseases.

  • Plaguebearer Icon Plaguebearer passively causes your Death Coil Icon Death Coil to extend the duration of your diseases on the target by 4 seconds.
  • Plague Leech Icon Plague Leech is an active ability, with a 25-second cooldown, which consumes your diseases on the target, activating two depleted runes as Death runes. It can only be cast if both Frost Fever Icon Frost Fever and Blood Plague Icon Blood Plague are on the target, and it activates 1 Frost rune and 1 Unholy rune.
  • Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight is an active ability with a 1.5-minute cooldown, which causes you to spread your diseases to all enemy targets within 10 yards of you, for 10 seconds.

The best choice in this tier is Plague Leech Icon Plague Leech, coupled with Glyph of Outbreak Icon Glyph of Outbreak. Plague Leech allows you to gain a boost in the number of Death Strike Icon Death Strikes you can use over the course of the fight, by using the ability on cooldown, and then re-applying your diseases immediately with Outbreak Icon Outbreak. You can read more about this technique in the relevant section of the rotation page.

Unholy Blight Icon Unholy Blight also allows you to seamlessly apply your diseases to many targets, but it can only be used once every 90 seconds, so it is really only useful in encounters where the adds enter the fight at longer intervals.

Plaguebearer Icon Plaguebearer is quite lackluster.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents offer you a choice between 3 abilities that improve your survivability (and, in the case of Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone, your raid's survivability as well).

  • Lichborne Icon Lichborne is an active ability with a 2-minute cooldown. It lasts for 10 seconds, during which time the effectiveness of Leech is increased by 10% and you are immune to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects.
  • Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone is a raid cooldown. The ability has a 2-minute cooldown, and it allows you to place a bubble at a location on the ground. The bubble lasts for 3 seconds, and during this time it reduces all spell damage taken by raid members inside it by 20%.
  • 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.

Your choice here will depend entirely on the requirements of the encounter and on your own personal preference.

Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone should be taken if there is use for it in the fight (such as predictable raid-wide magic damage), since it benefits your entire raid.

Lichborne Icon Lichborne provides an increase in Leech, which will lead to an increase in self healing, but how useful this actually turns out to be in Warlords of Draenor remains to be seen.

Purgatory Icon Purgatory can save your life, it can allow you to overcome mistakes from your own part or from your healers, and it can help you bypass otherwise deadly encounter mechanics.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents offer you a choice between abilities that improve your movement, kiting, and crowd-control.

  • Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance passively increases your movement speed by 10%, and actively (with a 30-second cooldown) grants you 30% movement speed increase for 6 seconds. The movement speed bonus offered by this ability stacks with other movement speed increases (such as the one from Unholy Presence Icon Unholy Presence).
  • Chilblains Icon Chilblains causes the targets on which you cast Frost Fever Icon Frost Fever to be slowed by 50% for 10 seconds. Additionally, it causes your Chains of Ice Icon Chains of Ice to immobilize the target for 3 seconds.
  • Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate is an improved version of Strangulate Icon Strangulate, which it replaces. It has a 30-second cooldown, and it stuns the target for 5 seconds. In the event that the target is immune to stuns, it silences them instead.

Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance is by far the best choice here, in the majority of situations. The other two talents could have some usefulness, although only situationally.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents offer you a choice between 3 means of improving your rune regeneration rate.

  • Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap passively causes every 15 Runic Power that you spend to generate a Blood Charge, and you can have up to a maximum of 12 charges. Using Blood Tap consumes 5 charges, activating a random fully depleted rune as a Death Rune. Blood Tap is not on the global cooldown, and it has no cooldown and no cost.
  • Runic Empowerment Icon Runic Empowerment acts passively whenever you spend Runic Power. For every point of Runic Power spent, you have a 1.50% chance to activate a random fully-depleted rune.
  • Runic Corruption Icon Runic Corruption acts passively whenever you spend Runic Power. For every point of Runic Power spent, you have a 1.50% chance to increase your rune regeneration rate by 100% for 3 seconds.

Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap is by far the best choice in this tier, with Runic Corruption Icon Runic Corruption and Runic Empowerment Icon Runic Empowerment not being as useful.

Blood Tap provides you with a lot of control over your rune situation, and this is its main strength. It allows you to chain a number of Death Strikes (by using up your Blood Tap charges), and this is of particular benefit if you want to stack Mastery: Blood Shield Icon Mastery: Blood Shield on you before a damaging mechanic strikes.

Runic Empowerment and Runic Corruption are currently not worth taking.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents offer you a choice between 3 self-healing abilities.

  • Death Pact Icon Death Pact instantly heals you for 50% of your maximum health, but also absorbing 25% of your maximum health in healing received over the next 15 seconds. It has a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Death Siphon Icon Death Siphon costs 1 Death Rune, and instantly deals a small amount of Shadowfrost damage to the target, healing you for 335% of the damage done. It can be used from as much as 40 yards away.
  • Conversion Icon Conversion is an ability that can be toggled on and off at will. Toggling it on costs 10 runic power, and keeping it on costs 10 runic power per second. For each second that it is active, Conversion restores 2% of your maximum health. While Conversion is active, you can only gain runic power from using runes. Note that having Conversion active does not prevent you from performing any actions (i.e., it is not a channeled spell). The spell is turned automatically off when you run out of Runic Power.

We believe that Death Pact Icon Death Pact is the best choice here, not only because of its nice amount of healing, but also because it has no resource cost.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents offer you a choice between 3 crowd-control abilities.

  • Gorefiend's Grasp Icon Gorefiend's Grasp places a buff on an ally or enemy, which pulls all enemy targets (enemies of the Death Knight, not the target itself) within 20 yards to the location of the target. It has a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter causes all enemies within 8 yards of the Death Knight to be slowed each second for 8 seconds. Each time they are slowed, their movement speed is reduced by 15%. When they have been slowed 5 times, the targets become stunned for 6 seconds. Remorseless Winter has a 1-minute cooldown.
  • Desecrated Ground Icon Desecrated Ground places a friendly void-zone under you, lasting 10 seconds. While you stand in this void zone, you are immune to roots, snares, and effects that cause loss of control of your character.

The choice here is absolutely preference-based. It is possible that some specific encounter mechanics will cause one talent to be favoured over the others. Only Remorseless Winter Icon Remorseless Winter may have some usefulness in stunning trash mobs so that they cease to deal damage for a few seconds.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

There are several Major Glyphs that can be beneficial to you as a Blood Death Knight.

  • Glyph of Outbreak Icon Glyph of Outbreak removes the cooldown from Outbreak Icon Outbreak, but causes it to have a 30 runic power cost instead. This glyph is practically mandatory, since it enables a particularly beneficial interaction with Plague Leech Icon Plague Leech.
  • Glyph of Icebound Fortitude Icon Glyph of Icebound Fortitude reduces the cooldown of Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude by 50%, but also reduces its duration by 75%. This glyph is excellent when you need to use Icebound Fortitude more often, but for very short periods of time.
  • Glyph of Vampiric Blood Icon Glyph of Vampiric Blood increases the bonus healing received while Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood is active by 10%, but Vampiric Blood no longer grants you any health. Depending on the fight conditions, this glyph can sometimes be beneficial. You should consult with your healers.
  • Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell Icon Glyph of Anti-Magic Shell improves your Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell, by increasing the amount of incoming damage that it absorbs to as much as 100%, up from 75%. Note that Anti-Magic Shell's absorption still remains limited by 50% of your maximum health. This glyph always has the potential of being beneficial, so you should take it if you do not need to use another glyph instead. Note that this cooldown is exclusive with Glyph of Regenerative Magic Icon Glyph of Regenerative Magic.
  • Glyph of Death Coil Icon Glyph of Death Coil causes Death Coil Icon Death Coil to place a damage absorption effect, if cast on an ally. This will generally not be a worthwhile thing to do, but it remains a possibility in some remote situations.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

There are two interesting Minor Glyphs for Blood Death Knights, namely Glyph of Resilient Grip Icon Glyph of Resilient Grip and Glyph of Army of the Dead Icon Glyph of Army of the Dead.

Glyph of Resilient Grip causes the cooldown of your Death Grip Icon Death Grip to be reset whenever you use Death Grip on a target that is immune to it. This can be useful in picking up adds, for example, if you accidentally Death Gripped an immune add instead of the viable one.

Glyph of Army of the Dead causes your ghouls to no longer taunt their target. This glyph is useful because it gives you the option of having your target (an add, since bosses cannot be taunted by Army of the Dead anyway) continue attacking its tank, in case this is desirable. This applies equally to cases when you are the tank of the add, for example if you want to position the add in a specific way.

10. Changelog↑top