Blood Death Knight Tank Azerite Traits/Powers and Armor — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5
1. Best Azerite Traits for Blood Death Knight
Given the significant defensive benefits many Azerite traits provide, as a Blood Death Knight you will generally want to prioritize defensive benefits over offensive traits when selecting Azerite gear and traits. As you acquire more gear, it is recommended you build gear sets for both damage and mitigation. Below we will highlight some of the most valuable traits for Blood Death Knights.
1.1. Spec-Specific Outer Ring Traits for Blood Death Knight
As a general rule, Blood's spec-specific traits are relatively weak; most generic traits will be better than the spec-specific offering. Three spec-specific traits — Bloody Runeblade, Bones of the Damned, and Eternal Rune Weapon — provide unique effects for the first rank of the trait, and we recommend placing one rank of each in your class-specific outer rings of your Azerite gear:
- Bones of the Damned has a small always-on armor buff, and gives a chance (approximately 18%) to apply a fourth stack of Bone Shield with each Marrowrend. Note that the chance to receive additional stacks of Bone Shield does not scale with item level or additional ranks of this trait.
- Eternal Rune Weapon provides a hefty Strength buff during Dancing Rune Weapon, and extends its duration for every rune you spend. The duration extension does not increase with item level or multiple ranks of this trait.
- Bloody Runeblade provides a short Haste buff as well as 5 Runic
Power when Crimson Scourge procs. The bonus Runic Power does not
increase with item level or multiple ranks of this trait. Because the effect has
a 10-second internal cooldown on activation, using it effectively can be
- On a single target, it is always beneficial to use Death and Decay as soon as Crimson Scourge procs.
- Waiting too long to use Death and Decay can significantly reduce the value of the trait. Waiting approximately 3 seconds to cast Death and Decay after receiving a Crimson Scourge proc will result in less Runic Power overall than not using Death and Decay at all.
- With three or more targets, Bloody Runeblade does not change how to use Death and Decay, although you will still maximize the value of the trait if you cast Death and Decay as soon as you receive a proc.
1.2. Generic Outer Ring Traits for Blood Death Knights
Generic traits have minimal defensive value; in most cases, choosing the best outer ring trait can be resolved by using a damage simulation. Traits with some defensive benefit worth considering are listed below the charts.
- Blood Rite's refresh effect is not modeled in simulations; it will have substantial benefit in situations such as Mythic+, where it can be refreshed regularly.
- Secrets of the Deep provides a significant increase to Strength on proc. This trait may require you to reposition regularly to pick up orbs; depending on the encounter or your strategy, you may be forced to waste orbs to keep the boss stationary. Note the two variants of orb stack with each other.
- Filthy Transfusion is a strong choice for a DPS-focused build, and has the bonus of a small leech effect as well.
- Synaptic Spark Capacitor is the best choice when using Engineering goggles; the proc has a surprisingly strong defensive component.
- Bonded Souls will typically buff your co-tank, maximizing the benefit of this already strong trait.
- Fight or Flight creates an automatic safety-net buff when used as a tanking trait. If you PvP regularly, this will be a good option for you.
- Rezan's Fury and Thunderous Blast are the two strongest options for pure offensive capability.
- Meticulous Scheming is a very strong Haste buff; the Blood Death Knight rotation will provide natural opportunities for this proc to fire, without adjusting your rotation to use it.
1.3. Middle Ring Traits for Blood Death Knights
Unlike the Outer Rings, the Middle Ring has several traits specifically for tanking. Consider maintaining separate gear for offensive and defensive purposes.
- Crystalline Carapace can be relied on to be active any time you are actively tanking in a boss encounter, and has both a solid mitigation value and a small damage component.
- Lifespeed is a respectable passive boost to Haste and Avoidance.
- Winds of War is respectable in single-target encounters, and is particularly strong in Mythic+ and multi-target raid encounters. Unfortunately, there are very few pieces of Azerite Gear with this trait that also have good options for the Outer and Inner Rings.
- Ablative Shielding can be very useful while progressing on challenging content, or during an encounter where an ability will drop you below 40% health and you will remain actively tanking afterwards.
- Gutripper is the strongest pure-DPS trait in single-target encounters.
- Heed My Call is the strongest DPS option on this Ring on multi-target encounters. As with other DPS traits, this comes at the cost of a moderate amount of survivability.
1.4. Inner Ring Powers for Blood Death Knights
- Impassive Visage provides significant healing over time. The value of this trait is maximized in scenarios where you are always actively tanking, such as Mythic+ and multi-boss raid encounters.
- Resounding Protection provides a consistent absorb on a 30-second timer.
- Gemhide is a very strong choice on any encounter where the Avoidance will apply to threatening attacks. By itself, the armor buff is noticeably less valuable.
- Bulwark of the Masses is a decent option for Mythic+, where the effect will proc consistently.
- Personal Absorb-o-Tron is the strongest option if using Engineering goggles.
- Runic Barrier can be situationally valuable to maintain one rank of for the extended duration on Anti-Magic Shell.
- March of the Damned can be very useful if the cooldown reduction allows for better use of Death's Advance.
2. Azerite Trait Rotation Changes for Blood Death Knight
- If using one or more ranks of Bones of the Damned, you will want to wait until you have 6 or fewer stacks of Bone Shield to refresh it with Marrowrend, so as to not waste the possible bonus stack provided by the trait.
- With one or more ranks of Bloody Runeblade, cast Death and Decay within 3 seconds of a Crimson Scourge proc, even in single-target encounters.
3. Azerite Gear for Blood Death Knight
These items are good options to pursue while preparing for the release of Uldir.
- Desert Guardian's Breastplate
- Bone-Fetished Chestplate
- Shoalbreach Breastplate
- Dunecrawler Chestplate
4. Find Azerite Armor By Trait/Power
In the table below, you can see all of the Azerite gear available to your Blood Death Knight. By using the + button located next to each item, you can expand the list of Azerite powers that this item possesses (to collapse the list, simply click the - button).
If you want to filter items according to the powers that they offer, you can use the filters below.
- 22 Jan. 2019: Added Season 2 traits and added discussion of a larger array of trait choices.
- 10 Dec. 2018: Updated trait recommendations for Patch 8.1.
- 24 Aug. 2018: Made a few tweaks to the page.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Page added.
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