Blood Death Knight Tank Easy Mode — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, we explain how to easily play Blood Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1, 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 15: Heartbreaker
- Level 25: Hemostasis
- Level 30: Relish in Blood
- Level 35: Will of the Necropolis
- Level 40: Wraith Walk
- Level 45: Bloodworms
- Level 50: Purgatory
You can find more detailed information as to why these talents are taken, along with alternatives, on the talents page:
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;
There are situations where this gearing advice falls short. However, for the overwhelming majority of content, you will not notice such problems. Just in case, there is a primer available on the stats page as to the reasoning behind this priority list:
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. As usual, more information is available on the in-depth rotation page!
- Before engaging anything, use Rune Tap a second before you get meleed for the first time.
- Use Marrowrend if your Bone Shield is about to expire.
- If you are a Necrolord, Venthyr or Kyrian, use your Covenant ability ( Swarming Mist / Abomination Limb / Shackle the Unworthy) on cooldown.
- Use Death Strike if your health is low, or to avoid capping Runic Power.
- If you are Night Fae, use Death's Due regularly to keep the associated buff and debuff from falling off. Remember that this is a net loss if used without a Crimson Scourge proc, and as a result, should be delayed until necessary.
- 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.
To get a better understanding of how the abilities mentioned above, as well as many more, work you can look into the Spells Summary guide linked below.
Covenant Choice for Blood Death Knights
While all of the Covenants have their place some simply perform better on a day to day basis than others. Kyrian and Venthyr are the two that stand out the most for Blood Death Knight due to their powerful class abilities and Soulbinds.
Kyrian for Blood Death Knight
The Kyrian Covenant ability is Shackle the Unworthy. It deals a large amount of damage over time, provides you with 8% damage reduction, and has a 50% chance to spread from Rune-spending attacks ( Heart Strike and Marrowrend).
The Kyrian signature ability is Summon Steward. This summons an Owlkin steward. You can speak with your steward and he will offer you a range of services, the most important of which are Phial of Serenity. This potion restores 20% of your health and more importantly removes all diseases, poisons, curses and bleeds on you.
Recommended Kyrian Soulbind
Pelagos is your go-to Soulbind with Mikanikos being a very competitive alternative in Patch 9.1. Combat Meditation is a powerful throughput increase, and Let Go of the Past is a consistent piece of Magical damage reduction.
The new final trait, Newfound Resolve, works like the Lady Inerva Darkvein Mythic mechanic, and grants you 12% Strength and Stamina for 15 seconds if you succeed in its test. This can be problematic as the add can spawn behind you.
Venthyr Soulbind For Blood Death Knight
The Venthyr Covenant ability is Swarming Mist. It functions very similarly to Bonestorm, where you are surrounded by a mist that will deal damage and generate Runic Power based on the amount of targets hit.
Recommended Venthyr Soulbind
Nadjia the Mistblade provides you with a mini- Bloodlust/ Heroism in the form of Thrill Seeker and increases the effectiveness of consumables with Exacting Preparation. Sinful Preservation is new in Patch 9.1 and will provide you with an absorb shield when you use a Health Potion or Healthstone; this will be very powerful (as long as you remember to use them). Nadija will be your default choice as a Venthyr.
The new final trait, Fatal Flaw, grants you 20% Critical Strike or Versatility after The Euphoria effect from Thrill Seeker ends, for 10 seconds. If you are going for parses, you will likely get the gigantic amount of Critical Strike. If you are doing high keys, you will almost always trigger the Versatility. Since both are percentage ratings, they are unaffected by diminishing returns making it a blatantly ludicrous amount of stats.
You can read more about all of the Covenants on the Covenant page.
Conduit Choice for Blood Death Knight
Blood Death Knights pick their Soulbind paths based on the generic traits offered by the Soulbinds rather than the Potency, Endurance or Finesse slots available. As a result, you may end up having to pick one or more of each of these categories, owing largely to the disparity in tuning of generic traits and our relatively weak choice of class Conduits.
We have listed the strongest Conduits of each type below for you to be able to quickly reference when deciding what to pick.
Best Potency Conduits for Blood Death Knight
As Blood Death Knights, we are unfortunately only able to get slightly sub-par Potency Conduits. We have highlighted the worthwhile ones below:
- Proliferation, Impenetrable Gloom, Brutal Grasp or Withering Ground (based on your Covenant);
- Withering Plague.
Debilitating Malady is not worth using under any circumstances, as it is tuned an order of magnitude worse than everything else.
Best Endurance Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Similarly to Potency Conduits, Endurance Conduits are relatively unimpactful. Nevertheless, we have listed the important ones below:
Best Finesse Conduits for Blood Death Knight
Interestingly, our strongest Finesse Conduit is also one of our strongest Conduits overall, provided that you can interrupt targets. We have listed some alternatives, just in case, as some fights do not have this possibility:
The other two available Finesse Conduits are not worth picking due to their unimpactful nature.
You can read more about all of the Conduits on the Covenant page.
Legendary Choice for Blood Death Knight
In the table below, the recommended slot for each item is bolded.
|Raiding||Superstrain||Neck or Chest||Stone Legion Generals (Castle Nathria)||Haste and Versatility|
|Mythic+||Crimson Rune Weapon||Hands, Waist, or Shoulders||Halls of Atonement||Haste and Versatility|
|Torghast||Stable Phantasma Lure||Neck, Wrist, or Back||Torghast (Layer 6+)||Haste and Versatility|
|Generic Legendary||Superstrain||Neck or Chest||Stone Legion Generals (Castle Nathria)||Haste and Versatility|
You can read more about all of the Legendaries and alternate recommendations for each style of content on the Legendaries page.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated Kyrian information to reflect 9.0.5 buffs (5% to 8% Damage Reduction).
- 14 Jan. 2021: Removing a stray reference to Blooddrinker as the talent is not recommended.
- 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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