Blood Death Knight Essences — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.2.5
On this page, we go over the new Essence system in Patch 8.2 of World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth, and we tell you which are the best essences to use as Blood Death Knight, both for minor and major powers. Please refer to our Patch 8.2 Guide to Essences for more information about the Essence system and where Essences can be obtained from.
Azerite Essences for Blood Death Knights
Introduced in Patch 8.2, Essences are unique items that drop from various forms of content. They are activated through your Heart of Azeroth, and they buff your character in various ways, depending on the Essences that are currently active.
Our Essence Guide has a full list of all the Essences, together with their descriptions and explanations on how they work.
What follows on this page will relate directly to how Essences affect this spec, since generic information is beyond the scope of this guide.
Disclaimer: Please note that at the moment, simulations and general theorycrafting around Essences is a work in progress, and as a result, most of the recommendations made here are subject to change.
Essences and Tanking
Tanking is a niche role, in that our Essence choice will most likely not be determined by what is optimal globally, but instead by what is optimal for a given encounter. As such, this guide will be tailored to highlighting the situations and encounters where certain Essences shine.
Major Azerite Essences for Blood Death Knights
All Azerite Majors directly or indirectly provide an active ability. They are highlighted below. A mandatory Essence is one you absolutely want to have at your disposal; a situational one is one that may be worth acquiring, but will see significantly less play. Everything else is in the realm of extremely niche, or flat-out terrible.
Mandatory Major Essences
- Azeroth's Undying Gift provides a substantial damage reduction effect on a very short cooldown. For progression and on fights that will require more frequent DR than what Blood has at their disposal, this will be your go-to.
- Empowered Null Barrier provides a large absorb shield, along with a complete purge of debuffs present on you. This is valuable for the purge — the absorb is the icing on the cake.
- For raw single-target DPS, Concentrated Flame will be your bread and butter. Simulations should confirm this once tuning is done, but right now, it is by far the best option available.
Situational Major Essences
- Worldvein Resonance allows you to kickstart the effect of Lifeblood Shard by instantly providing 3 shards for 18 seconds to you and everybody nearby with this Essence.
- Anima of Death is extremely similar in behavior to Idol of Indiscriminate Consumption, and serves the same purpose: it provides a very substantial on-use heal (further modified by Vampiric Blood if it is active) in multi-target scenarios. This serves, however, as a large 2-minute AoE cooldown. Do note that it is completely unaffected by any secondary effect, buff or debuff, and just deals 10% of your max HP when cast. This means that under the effect of large amounts of Versatility or Critical Strike, most essences will statistically be better.
- Conflict is something you want to have available to you, particularly if you are a Mythic raider. This Essence provides a second change of Death Grip. While it may not sound like much, this removes the necessity to bring two Death Knights on fights like Mekkatorque, Mythrax, or Aggramar, thus providing more freedom in terms of raid composition.
- Suppressing Pulse is a Void Elf racial ability combined with a 50% sprint on a very short cooldown. While it is not optimal, it is definitely worth having if there is a necessity to speed-run content or significantly slow enemies for 8 seconds.
Lackluster Major Essences
These Essences should only be picked if you have a real, tangible requirement for them.
- Memory of Lucid Dreams will, at best, net you 90 Runic Power every 3 minutes. This is less than most Azerite traits and, depending on the content you are doing, could result in less actual throughput than a single Versatility gem. Avoid this Essence.
- Vision of Perfection will proc a 3.5-second duration Vampiric Blood 0.85 times per minute. We are the only tank spec for which this does not proc an offensive cooldown.
- Ripple in Space exists purely to proc the Minor trait on this Essence. In a vacuum, this would have been a good idea; in practice, you are sacrificing too much by not picking another Essence to justify picking this. The teleport also has a 2 second delay, which negates its use in most encounters.
Minor Azerite Essences for Blood Death Knight
Minor Essences are an addition to the Essence system and provide Minor, mostly passive abilities. These will complement and synergize both with other Minor Essences and with your choice of Major, leading to deeper, more impactful gameplay.
You will be able to use three Minor Essences in total:
- The first is granted at Azerite level 35, and is forced to be the Minor associated with your choice of Major Essence. For instance, if you picked Conflict, you would be using Strife in this slot.
- The second is granted at Azerite level 55; no particular restriction is placed on this.
Mandatory Minor Essences
- Strive for Perfection is an Essence you should aim to have at your disposal; it provides a very decent amount of cooldown reduction on Vampiric Blood, along with a 6.5% heal every time you use it.
- Stand Your Ground provides a noticeable amount of Versatility in Mythic+, along with a noticeable self-heal component above Rank 2.
- Null Barrier provides an absorb on a 15-second cooldown, averaging 1.3k HPS before Versatility, making it a simple, no-strings-attached defensive Minor choice.
- Strife stacks up extremely quickly and provides constant versatility, making it a very good choice for most situations.
Lackluster Minor Essences
These essences should currently be avoided.
- Lifeblood is, on paper, a near-constant 4-stack with multiple people using it. However, due to a bug on live, it very rarely is the case, and is therefore better avoided.
Default Choice of Essences
As a general guideline, barring any other requirements, your Essence choice should be:
- Raiding: Concentrated Flame Major, Strife and Null Barrier Minor Essences.
- Mythic+: Concentrated Flame Major, Stand Your Ground and Null Barrier Minor Essences.
- 16 Aug. 2019: Changed recommendations based on live testing and analysis. Will change again when Worldvein gets fixed.
- 25 Jun. 2019: This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
- 24 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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