Blood Death Knight Frequently Asked Questions — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5

Last updated on Jan 22, 2019 at 10:36 by Volstatsz 50 comments

On this page, we go over several of the most frequently asked questions regarding Blood Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.5. This will be updated as more common repeated questions surface over the course of the expansion.

1. How Much Haste should Blood Death Knights Have? / Is There a Haste Cap for Blood Death Knights?

Blood has no "soft caps" or "minimum thresholds" with any Haste, or any other stat. Secondary stats for Blood are all close enough to each other in value that you should prioritize item level over secondary stat itemization for nearly any piece of gear, except trinkets and rings.

Versatility and Haste are very close in value — while Versatility is numerically better than Haste, the two are close enough in value that many Blood Death Knights prefer to prioritize Haste, as increased Haste allows for better reactions, which helps maximize Death Strike Icon Death Strike efficiency.

2. What Race is Best for Blood Death Knights?

For Horde players, we recommend Blood Elves. Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent is a powerful ability, particularly in Mythic+ dungeons.

For Alliance players, we recommend Worgen. Darkflight Icon Darkflight will help to shore up Blood Death Knights' lack of mobility.

3. Should I Play Defensively or Offensively?

This is the main question most people will ask with tanking. The basic answer is that if you are doing progression or are on a character you do not feel comfortable playing offensively with, you should play defensively. As you start to get comfortable, you should start looking at DPS a bit more and play a more mixed style, where you start pushing DPS while slowly giving up survivability. Once you feel completely comfortable with the encounter and you will not hold your raid back, you can then go for DPS. This point is different for every person, as it depends on your group, your character, your gear, and your skill level.

For Blood, to shift from defense to offense, consider the following choices.

  1. Replace one or both of your tanking trinkets with DPS trinkets. This is often the easiest and most significant change you can make. Note that very few trinkets exist in Battle for Azeroth that are tanking-specific; you should feel comfortable using a non-tanking trinket that provides advantageous stats without feeling like you are impairing your survivability.
  2. Take Bonestorm Icon Bonestorm as your Tier 7 talent, particularly in Mythic+ dungeons.

Many of our default recommendations for Blood assume you will be playing at least somewhat offensively to begin with. To shift more defensively, consider the following changes.

  1. Take Purgatory Icon Purgatory. Competing with Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst can make this difficult to do, as it requires adjusting your cooldown plan, but especially when progressing on new content this ability will effectively allow you to learn fights twice as fast. As the tank, you should plan to be the first player to master a new encounter, and the last to die — unexpected tank deaths are a greater hindrance to progression by far than other deaths. It is often worth relying on an additional external cooldown during progression to make this available to select.
  2. Take Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike. While this talent does add some complexity to your rotation, the additional Runic Power throughput can be very helpful if you need additional sustained mitigation.
  3. Use Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle Icon Rune of the Stoneskin Gargoyle. This is a significant hit to your damage output — as much as a 7% loss — but it provides a sizable increase to your effective Health through the buff to both Armor and Stamina.
  4. Use Stamina food and flasks. Generally, this should be your last option; you trade mitigation and damage both for an increased health pool, which makes you take more damage overall while noticeably reducing your damage potential. As a general rule, only consider this if you need the additional Health to survive specific attacks.

4. Can I Sim Myself? Should I?

The Blood Death Knight module for SimulationCraft is well-maintained and can generally be relied upon to help understand the effect to damage output your gear, talent, and Azerite trait choices can have.

That having been said, SimulationCraft cannot be used to evaluate defensive choices. Do not consider simulations in a vacuum; a choice having the highest damage potential does not make it the best choice.

5. Changelog

  • 22 Jan. 2019: This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 18 Dec. 2018: Updated stats answer; added race selection.
  • 10 Dec. 2018: Updated stat distribution answer.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Page added.
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