WotLK Classic Blood Death Knight Guide
Welcome to our Blood Death Knight guide for WotLK Classic, tailored for PvE content. Here, you will learn how all you need to know to play Blood Death Knight proficiently. Click the links below to navigate the guide or read this page for a short introduction.
Death Knights are capable of both Tanking or DPSing and are near the best at both depending on the encounter. Blood is primarily the Tanking specialization of Death Knight due to the massive amounts of self-healing, but if you are looking to DPS both Frost and Unholy are great damage-dealing specializations with unique niches that make them strong in different situations while always being competitive with the top melee specs in the game.
Blood Death Knight brings much more than just being able to take damage and heal it back. They offer some of the strongest buffs in the game such as Unholy Frenzy and Abomination's Might, and can even spec further into the Frost tree to take Improved Icy Talons while giving up none of their personal threat generation or self-sustain. Death Knights are great tanks against any type of damage and can easily be played in either the primary or off-tank role.
If you would like to see where Blood Death Knight tanks fall in the overall rankings among tank specs for PvE in Wrath of the Lich King Classic, we have created a page dedicated to explaining what classes and specializations are the best of the best through multiple factors. However, ultimately, you should not let this list dissuade you from playing what you enjoy.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- Strongest self-healing in the game and extremely independent, making them one of the strongest soloing specs in the game.
- Ability to talent for powerful group buffs including Unholy Frenzy.
- Death Grip allows for repositioning mobs and other players in a way that no other class is able to.
- Extremely immobile and vulnerable to slows/stuns after cooldowns are expended.
- Must be in melee range to be able to self-sustain.
- Heavily dependant on generation of Runic Power.
Best Races for Blood Death Knight
The best race to play as a Blood Death Knight depends on your goals and faction choice. If you are Horde, Orc is the the best option as changes to Blood Fury have made it more viable for Tanks and it will allow you to better take advantage of snapshotting your debuffs early into encounters. As Alliance, you can choose from any of the races, though if you are looking to frequently tank either Dwarf or Night Elf are the best choices. Stoneform offers a small personal cooldown while Night Elves' Quickness adds a considerable amount of Dodge passively. If you are looking mostly for PvP, Human is your best option because of how powerful Will to Survive is, allowing you to have an entire extra trinket slot that would typically be dedicated to a CC-breaking PvP trinket.
Draenei offers a very situationally useful heal in Gift of the Naaru that can save you or a party member in an emergency. Heroic Presence is the most powerful racial though as it allows you and people in your party to itemize completely differently because of the added Hit Rating.
Dwarf is in a unique spot, as Stoneform can be a powerful defensive cooldown in a situation where you are unable to get dispelled, have a nasty bleed on you, and are taking a lot of Physical damage. Unfortunately Find Treasure and Gun Specialization are both completely useless for Death Knights in any kind of combat situation.
Perception is extremely strong against any stealth class and can net you a massive advantage in PvP, but Will to Survive is the real game-changer, allowing you to dispel crowd-controlling effects off of yourself and freeing up one of your trinket slots for a second PvE trinket. The Human Spirit is not particularly useful in any combat situation. Both Mace Specialization and Sword Specialization are quite strong early on in lower gear levels and even later on might alter your gear choices while maintaining Expertise.
Escape Artist can be quite useful as one of Death Knight's greatest limitations is their lack of movement speed, however all other racials other than perhaps Arcane Resistance are pretty useless in any combat situation.
Quickness offers a considerable amount of avoidance just for being a Night elf as well as a bit more passive resistance against Nature, which is a major source of damage in this expansion. Shadowmeld does not really offer any in-combat benefits as a Death Knight but can sometimes help you save a repair bill.
While Arcane Torrent does grant a small amount of Runic Power, there are not many combat benefits other than the passive Magic Resistance Blood Elves have.
Orc is the overall strongest race for Death Knight thanks to the benefits of Blood Fury which, in Wrath of the Lich King, no longer reduces incoming healing, additional pet damage thanks to Command, and a slight increase in effectiveness with axes thanks to Axe Specialization.
Tauren are by default the tankiest of the Horde races thanks to their increased health value from Endurance and they have a powerful aoe stun in War Stomp where Death Knight has no other stun.
There is an argument to be made, if you plan to play exclusively Unholy Death Knight, that Troll may be stronger due to the way Berserking synergizes with Summon Gargoyle, but overall Troll is second to Orc by a good amount in all Death Knight specalizations including Blood.
While Will of the Forsaken is a strong PvP cooldown, it is a bit redundant with spells such as Lichborne and Undead has no other in-combat benefits other than some additional Shadow Resistance which is a major source of damage during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
Best Professions for Blood Death Knight
Engineering is extremely important for Death Knights both for the personal DPS increases added from the Cloak and Glove enchants, but especially the insane amount of mobility that Nitro Boosts affixed to your boots will allow you. Engineering ends up being a slightly lower gain in stats than other crafting professions, but the overall utility that the Profession has to offer makes it a must-have for almost every class and especially ones that struggle with mobility like Death Knight.
Jewelcrafting is the single largest increase of stats of any of the crafting professions especially before the addition of Epic gems to the game. Stamina is the single strongest stat for a Blood Death Knight's survivability and this is the largest possible gain of it.
Engineering and Jewelcrafting are both chosen based on their end-game benefits and do not offer any particularly beneficial gold farms.
- 10 May 2023 (this page): Updated for phase 3 release ahead of Trial of the Crusader raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (enchants page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (stats page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (rotation page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (talents page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (spells page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 18 Jan. 2023 (this page): Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 17 Jan. 2023 (pre-raid gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
- 17 Jan. 2023 (gear page): Updated for Phase 2.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (pre-raid gear page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (gear page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (enchants page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (stats page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (rotation page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (talents page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (spells page): Page added.
- 23 Aug. 2022 (this page): Page added.
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