Blood Death Knight Tank Easy Mode — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3
On this page, we explain how to easily play Blood Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3, using the simplest rotation, talent tree, stat priority, gear setup, etc., without sacrificing performance.
This page is intended for players who are new to the game or class, have no intentions of raiding Mythic difficulty, or simply want a more straightforward way to play their specialization without being overwhelmed by the numerous subtleties and active abilities that need to be taken into consideration for optimal play.
The Basics of Blood Death Knights
Blood Death Knights are highly reliant on self-healing. They take more damage than other tanks, but heal more to make up for this.
Your main goal throughout fights will be to maximize your Runic Power generation, and then use this Runic Power on Death Strike to heal yourself (as well as to apply the damage absorption shield it provides thanks to your Mastery: Blood Shield).
Talent Choice for Blood Death Knights
These choices are optimized for ease of use. That said, only viable talents are suggested and the gains in survivability and DPS from choosing only the "best" talents are not game-breaking.
- Level 56: Heartbreaker
- Level 57: Hemostasis
- Level 58: Ossuary
- Level 60: Will of the Necropolis
- Level 75: Wraith Walk
- Level 90: Bloodworms
- Level 100: Purgatory
Stat Choice for Blood Death Knights
Other than trinkets and jewelry, prioritize item level over second stat itemization. Prioritize stats as follows:
- Item Level;
- Critical Strike;
Azerite Essence Choice for Blood Death Knight
The most effective combination of Essences is as follows:
- Major: Concentrated Flame
- Minor #1: Stand Your Ground
- Minor #2: Strife / Null Barrier
- Minor #3: Symbiotic Presence if you need the Corruption resistance, or whichever minor you skipped from #2 otherwise.
These Essence choices will provide the largest benefit in general situations, with a hefty boost to Versatility in AoE situations, a very generous single-target nuke, and a copious amount of primary stats.
Basic Rotation for Blood Death Knights
The basic rotation as a Blood Death Knight is based on this priority. It includes both single target and AoE recommendations.
- Use Marrowrend if your Bone Shield is about to expire.
- Use Death Strike if your health is low, or to avoid capping Runic Power.
- Use Blooddrinker.
- Use Blood Boil if any nearby enemies do not have your Blood Plague disease, or you have 2 charges of Blood Boil.
- Use Marrowrend if you have 6 or fewer stacks of Bone Shield.
- Use Death and Decay if you are fighting 3 or more enemies.
- Use Heart Strike if you have 3 or more Runes.
- Use Blood Boil.
Active Mitigation and Cooldowns for Blood Death Knights
You have 2 active mitigation abilities that you need to use to keep yourself alive, although simply making use of the above priority will ensure you are doing this to a great degree.
Death Strike is your primary means of keeping yourself alive, and you should use it whenever you can benefit from the healing it provides, particularly after you have sustained high damage (since its healing is based on the amount of damage taken in the preceding 5 seconds).
In addition to the active mitigation abilities, you must also use your defensive cooldowns as necessary.
- Anti-Magic Shell absorbs up to 30% of your maximum health in magic damage over 5 seconds, and should be used to mitigate magic damage and generate Runic Power.
- Vampiric Blood increases your maximum health and the amount of healing you receive by 30% for 10 seconds. It should be used either proactively in anticipation for high amounts of damage, or reactively when low on health and in danger of dying.
- Icebound Fortitude reduces all damage taken by 30% for 8 seconds. It should mostly be used proactively when you anticipate taking high damage, such as from specific boss abilities.
- Dancing Rune Weapon increases your Parry chance by 40%, and also increases your damage dealt and resource generation significantly. You should use it on the pull, and then generally as soon as its available, provided you are actively tanking and will benefit from the increased Parry.
- 08 Apr. 2020: Added note about third Minor Essence choice.
- 13 Jan. 2020: This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
- 15 Aug. 2019: Changing essence recommendations. Worldvein is bugged.
- 11 Jul. 2019: Added Essences section.
- 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 25 May 2019: Removed Reference to Refreshing Blood Shield.
- 22 Jan. 2019: Fixed the ordering of secondary stats in the stat priority.
- 10 Dec. 2018: This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
- 24 Sep. 2018: Updated stat priority.
- 24 Aug. 2018: Clarified stat/upgrade priority.
- 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
- 04 Aug. 2018: Updated Rotation to include new optimizations.
- Jailer Hound Mounts in Shadowlands
- Original WoW Designer on World Buffs and Their Creation/Purpose
- The Man of a Hundred Armor Sets: the Handclaw Interview
- Naked Paladin One-Shotting the Horde
- Shadowlands Alpha 9.0.1 Build 34490: Class Changes
- Unique Icy Veins Death Knight Armor Set by Handclaw
- Shadowlands Alpha 9.0.1 Build 34490: New Anima Powers
- Shade Beast Mounts in Shadowlands