Blood Death Knight Shadowlands Leveling Guide From 8 to 60

Last updated on May 31, 2022 at 00:05 by Mandl and Panthea 4 comments

On this page, you will find our Level by Level Blood Death Knight leveling guide for Shadowlands Make sure to use the slider to make the guide adapt to your level. For more general leveling information, please refer to our Death Knight leveling guide.


Gear Options

When leveling up, you should always choose the piece of loot with the highest item level. The only exception to this rule is if you have a Ring or Necklace with a slightly lower item level, but 2 secondary stats on it instead of 1.

Your goal is, evidently, to go as quickly as possible throughout the zones and levels, and the best way to do this is to get the best possible gear without getting out of your way while doing so.


Level by Level Rotation and Talents

Move the slider below to make the guide update to your level!

Level: 8

Until level 10, if you are an old-school race, your Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike will be replaced by its generic alternative, Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike.

Depending on which race you picked, you will start a different level, and have a slightly different intro:

  • If you picked an Allied Race, you start at level 10, and start with the new Bolvar experience.
  • On the other hand, if you started with one of the old races, you start at level 8, and get to re-live the Scarlet Enclave original starting zone!

Regardless of this choice, your first talent row unlocks at Level 15.


Talents to Level Up as a Blood Death Knight

Your talent set up should be as follows.


Rotation to Level Up as a Blood Death Knight

  1. You start with access to Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike, acting as your main Rune spender, and Death Strike Icon Death Strike and Death Coil Icon Death Coil acting as your main Runic Power spenders. Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay is also available for large groups of enemies, although Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike does not cleaver while inside it.
    Simply burn Runes with Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike and Runic Power with Death Coil Icon Death Coil (or, for a bit of healing at a cost of some damage, Death Strike Icon Death Strike)
  2. Pick Blood! This will turn Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike into Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike, along with allowing you to benefit from a couple of enhancements and your mastery, Mastery: Blood Shield Icon Mastery: Blood Shield. This is also coupled with a +132% damage increase on Death Strike Icon Death Strike — as a result, you should unbind Death Coil Icon Death Coil altogether, as you will no longer be using it.
  3. Use Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike as your filler, and Death Strike Icon Death Strike as your RP spender. Along with the spec-specific increase to its damage, you also get the benefit of Mastery: Blood Shield Icon Mastery: Blood Shield!
  4. Marrowrend Icon Marrowrend is your Active Mitigation ability. It is not very active, but that is down to terminology. Pressing it grants you 3 Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield stacks; you lose a charge per melee hit taken, at a maximum of once per 2.5 seconds. You should ideally never cap those, and aim to be around 5-7 instead.
  5. Your first DPS cooldown, albeit minor, is Raise Dead Icon Raise Dead. Do not hesitate to summon Timmy early, and to summon Timmy often. He actually does quite a bit of damage.
  6. Dark Command Icon Dark Command is your single-target taunt. This one, unlike Death Grip Icon Death Grip, is off the global cooldown. You now have almost every element of your toolkit to be able to effectively tank dungeons.
  7. With the first talent point, the dungeon finder also unlocks.
  8. Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil is your AoE threat/DPS ability. Keep its charges rolling, even on single-target! At level 25, you will pick up Hemostasis Icon Hemostasis to also have it provide defensive utility.
  9. The levels 29 to 40 reinforce your utility and defensive toolkit, with the addition of four defensives (Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood, Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon, Lichborne Icon Lichborne and Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude), along with two utility spells: an undead crowd-control spell (Control Undead Icon Control Undead) and a combat resurrection (Raise Ally Icon Raise Ally). At this point, your spec toolkit is complete.
  10. You can now sacrifice your Raise Dead Icon Raise Dead with Sacrificial Pact Icon Sacrificial Pact for additional burst DPS as it is about to expire.

In addition to these baseline abilities, there are a number of passive effects that you unlock throughout the leveling process that are worth knowing about:


Blood Death Knight War Mode Talents for Leveling

While levelling with War Mode enabled, you gain access to three additional PvP talents. Their effects also work on enemies in the open world, and while most of them are lackluster, a couple of them can significantly speed up your levelling process. We have highlighted them below:

  • Death Chain Icon Death Chain allows you to frequently (50% uptime) chain an enemy with two nearby hostile targets. While chained, damage done to one enemy is partially copied over to the other two. This effectively rewards you for pulling more than one target (which you should do, anyway. You're a tank) by allowing you to increase your effective damage by 30%.
  • Decomposing Aura Icon Decomposing Aura rots away the maximum health of nearby targets. Simple, effective.
  • Murderous Intent Icon Murderous Intent is a 3-15% damage increase on a target, refreshed by your auto-attacks. This is the least bad option we have access to after picking the other two.


Congratulations on reaching Level 60! Now that you have hit Level 60, we recommend looking at our Easy mode page and Talents section to learn how to play at max level.



  • 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 21 Nov. 2020: Fixed incorrect level information for Hemostasis.
  • 20 Nov. 2020: Included Shadowlands leveling updates.
  • 03 Nov. 2020: Changes to clarify the role of Rune Strike when leveling.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Guide added.
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