Blood Death Knight Tank Gear and Best in Slot — Dragonflight 10.1

Last updated on May 25, 2023 at 09:28 by Mandl and Panthea 32 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find the best gear and best in slot items for your Blood Death Knight in World of Warcraft Dragonflight 10.1.


Best in Slot List for Blood Death Knights

We do not currently provide a Best in Slot list. You should aim to prioritize item level above everything else, as anything 10 item levels or more is virtually guaranteed to be an upgrade.

If you have a choice on the same item level, the alternative will likely, in generic circumstances, not make a difference defensively. As such, we recommend just simming the choice and going with whatever helps you do more damage.

There are exceptions to this rule and encounter-specific situations where a stat is massively devalued. Whenever an encounter features a difference (such as a boss not having a parryable auto-attack or dealing pure magical damage), we will highlight it in the encounter guides.

Similarly, at the absolute cutting-edge Mythic+ key levels, a slightly more fine-tuned approach towards secondaries and key-specific trade-offs on secondary stats may occur. This is extremely rare for the overwhelming majority of people, and very often, emulating such trade-offs without knowing whether you are in the same situation leads to a sharp loss.

We have covered some of the caveats in a more detailed fashion on the following page:


Timewalking Trinkets

Cataclysm Timewalking is back as of May 23rd, 2023, and introduces new Trinkets and other items from dungeons like the Stonecore, Lost City of the Tol'vir, Throne of the Tides, End Time, Blackrock Caverns and the Firelands Raid. The Firelands Trinkets can be upgraded to Item Level 437. You will only get one shot at looting items from there this season, as Cataclysm Timewalking will never roll around again.


Are Cataclysm Timewalking Trinkets worth it?

Broadly speaking, no. All of the trinkets available to strength users, and Blood Death Knights, specifically, have higher-value, higher-budget options in the current Mythic+ or Aberrus loot tables:

  • Vessel of Acceleration is a more restrictive, slower-stacking, lower-budget variant of Ominous Chromatic Essence Icon Ominous Chromatic Essence.
  • Spidersilk Spindle is a lower-budget (roughly 30% smaller) variant of Talisman of the Cragshaper Icon Talisman of the Cragshaper, and on top of being strictly worse in absolute value, its delivery mechanism is also worse across the board:
    • It is a 100% absorb instead of a 50% absorb, making it strictly worse and causing other sources of healing to be completely wasted, along with being broadly less useful
    • It auto-triggers the moment you drop below 35%. In practice, this means you can expect to trigger it at the most inopportune time. On top of this, due to this auto-proc behavior, it is unusable on tankbusters (as it would apply after it - i.e., after you've actually survived it)

There are still reasons to completely clear Firelands timewalking (beyond just helping your intellect and agility friends get their own Best in Slot trinkets!). Unlike all other forms of content, the Firelands Raid gear can drop with sockets in slots that do not normally feature them.

If you are a mythic raider, we recommend attempting to get a pair of gloves with a socket, if at all possible; once the Catalyst rolls around, this should prove to be a small upgrade over catalysted Mythic Echo of Neltharion gloves.

If you are not a mythic raider, your mileage may vary, and it will all depend on what content you are capable of getting gear from. High-budget pieces like Chest and Legs are unlikely to be upgrades even if socketed, as a 10-item level delta is arguably more valuable than a socket. As most of our other slots are locked, this leaves only Shoulders and Gloves as desirable items.


Best Cataclysm Timewalking Trinkets for Blood Death Knight

As mentioned previously, no cataclysm trinket performs better for us than commonly-available trinkets from Mythic+ or Aberrus.


Embellishment Recommendations for Blood Death Knight

Embellishments are additional item effects present on profession gear, either as a baseline (such as Elemental Lariat Icon Elemental Lariat) or added as an optional reagent when crafting (such as Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch Icon Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch). These grant a free, additional effect to the piece.

You may only have two embellishments active at a time.

For Blood Death Knights specifically, we recommend the following:

Alchemical Flavor Pocket Icon Alchemical Flavor Pocket can be added to crafted items and does not count as an embellishment.

Elemental Lariat Icon Elemental Lariat was a very strong option in Season 1, however it has been reworked for Patch 10.1. The duration buff from the Embellishment increases with the amount of gems you have socketed therefore it is only worthwhile to use once you have a lot of sockets in your gear, however, for Blood Death Knights Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch Icon Shadowflame-Tempered Armor Patch performs better.

Vault of the Incarnates Gear Recommendations for Blood Death Knight

This table is only a guideline of possible pieces!

When creating this gear set, we followed the following guidelines:

  • We assumed all pieces of gear were available without specific tertiary rolls, at mythic item level
  • Finally, and most importantly, we assumed a standard encounter: no gimmicks, no encounter-specific requirements, and a source of auto-attacks

If your raid leader demands a BiS set of you ahead of the raid launching (an outdated but, unfortunately, very prevalent custom), you should be able to give them the following list safely.

Slot Item Boss
Helm Lingering Phantom's Dreadhorns Icon Lingering Phantom's Dreadhorns Magmorax
Neck Kagni's Scorching Talisman Icon Kagni's Scorching Talisman Assault of the Zaqali
Shoulder Lingering Phantom's Shoulderplates Icon Lingering Phantom's Shoulderplates Neltharion
Cloak Voice of the Silent Star Icon Voice of the Silent Star Scalecommander Sarkareth
Chest Lingering Phantom's Plackart Icon Lingering Phantom's Plackart Zskarn
Bracers Bonds of Desperate Ascension Icon Bonds of Desperate Ascension Scalecommander Sarkareth
Gloves Lingering Phantom's Gauntlets Icon Lingering Phantom's Gauntlets (Optional: You can Catalyse Twisted Vision's Demigaunts Icon Twisted Vision's Demigaunts from Neltharion to create a higher item level tier.) The Forgotten Experiments
Belt Recycled Golemskin Waistguard Icon Recycled Golemskin Waistguard (Disclaimer: You will very likely be using Unstable Frostfire Belt Icon Unstable Frostfire Belt instead) Zskarn
Legs Obsidian Guard's Chausses Icon Obsidian Guard's Chausses Assault of the Zaqali
Boots Spittle-Resistant Sollerets Icon Spittle-Resistant Sollerets Magmorax
Ring #1 Onyx Impostor's Birthright Icon Onyx Impostor's Birthright (or Seal of Diurna's Chosen Icon Seal of Diurna's Chosen if you have this at 421) Neltharion
Ring #2 Tormentor's Siphoning Signet Icon Tormentor's Siphoning Signet (or Onyx Annulet Icon Onyx Annulet) Rashok
Weapon Ashkandur, Fall of the Brotherhood Icon Ashkandur, Fall of the Brotherhood Neltharion

However, we advise that you sim your character every time a potential item drops by using the Compare Gear feature with both options, item by item. The reason for this is twofold:

  • An item that is not strictly ideal in an ideal fully-kitted-out gear set may be a massive upgrade for you right now (high ilvl gains on pieces, weapon upgrades, etc.)
  • Likewise, an item that is in an ideal gearset may very well be a loss for you right now, either because of an ilvl difference (say, if you were to loot Spittle-Resistant Sollerets Icon Spittle-Resistant Sollerets at heroic item level but you had a Mythic+ vault pair of boots)

We strongly advise relying on sims to gauge upgrades on an item-by-item basis, particularly as a minor upgrade for you may very well be a large upgrade for other players in your raid.


Dungeon Gear Recommendations for Blood Death Knight

Similarly to the raid gear recommendations, the Mythic+ table below should only be used as a suggestion and should be treated with the same caveats.

When determining whether an item is an upgrade, we strongly encourage you to use Raidbots to simulate and compare the upgrade. When picking Great Vault loot, you can use the Simulationcraft add-on while the vault screen is open by typing /simc. This will generate a full bag export, including potential Great Vault choices; pasting it in raidbots will allow you to simulate those theoretical choices.

Slot Item Dungeon
Helm Decay Mother's Wrathful Gaze Icon Decay Mother's Wrathful Gaze Brackenhide Hollow
Neck Ionized Choker Icon Ionized Choker The Vortex Pinnacle
Shoulder Pauldrons of Immutable Truth Icon Pauldrons of Immutable Truth Uldaman
Cloak Shadow of Perfect Bliss Icon Shadow of Perfect Bliss The Vortex Pinnacle
Chest Rockbound Chestguard Icon Rockbound Chestguard Neltharion's Lair
Bracers Concealed Fencing Plates Icon Concealed Fencing Plates Freehold
Gloves Forgemaster's Grips Icon Forgemaster's Grips Neltharus
Belt Sharkbait Harness Girdle Icon Sharkbait Harness Girdle (Disclaimer: You will very likely be using Unstable Frostfire Belt Icon Unstable Frostfire Belt instead) Freehold
Legs Rock Solid Legplates Icon Rock Solid Legplates Neltharion's Lair
Boots Pristine Magma Stompers Icon Pristine Magma Stompers Neltharus
Ring #1 Loop of Pulsing Veins Icon Loop of Pulsing Veins (or Seal of Diurna's Chosen Icon Seal of Diurna's Chosen if you have this at 421) The Underrot
Ring #2 Ring of Frozen Rain Icon Ring of Frozen Rain (or Onyx Annulet Icon Onyx Annulet) The Vortex Pinnacle
Weapon Jeweled Sharksplitter Icon Jeweled Sharksplitter Freehold

Blood Death Knight Tier Set - Lingering Phantom's Encasement

The Aberrus raid features a new set of tier set gear. In addition, pieces of this set can eventually be earned from any of the nine slots in the weekly Dragonflight Great Vault and can also eventually be made at the Inspiration Catalyst as a catchup system. This armor, when enough pieces of it are worn, unlocks two special bonuses for Blood Death Knights:

Once available, you should aim to acquire the set bonuses as soon as possible.

  1. The 2-piece bonus essentially just gives you more damage for two key rotational abilities. The chance to trigger Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood for 5 seconds is largely superfluous as it will not have any real impact on your decision making and is just a nice bonus when it triggers.
  2. The 4-piece bonus turns Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood into a DPS cooldown. Vampiric Strength triggers both when you cast Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood and when you get a 2-piece proc.

PvP Gear Recommendations for Blood Death Knight

Obtaining gear from rated PvP can be a powerful boost to your item level early in the season.

All of these items have Versatility on them.

If you are wanting to obtain PvP gear, we would advise doing Rated Battlegrounds as Frost.


Trinket Recommendations for Blood Death Knight

With the release of Vault of the Incarnates and Season 1 of Mythic+, our trinket choices have widened considerably. However, whilst some choices were for the better, others were for the worse.

We strongly recommend using trinkets that suit the encounter at hand. For instance, if you are not able to line up a defensive trinket with a mechanic, or flat-out do not need it, pick a generic trinket instead!


General Purpose Trinkets

Caveat: All trinkets with a primary stat budget (Strength) or a secondary stat have defensive value. In fact, the bulk of any trinket's defensive value is in the Strength they have, as this provides armor and a noticeable amount of parry rating.

Beacon to the Beyond Icon Beacon to the Beyond is a very strong damage trinket option however has a 2-second cast time. The damage of this trinket is split. However, the total amount of damage it does is increased for each target up to 5 targets where it stops gaining additional value. Grab this trinket for a large DPS boost.

Zaqali Chaos Grapnel Icon Zaqali Chaos Grapnel has two uses, as a mobility trinket as you can use this to fly towards your target to make running to a new pack of mobs easier, and secondarily as a damage trinket (as intended). The damage part of this trinket works in two parts, you will deal Physical damage (buffed by Bloodshot Icon Bloodshot) to your target , and when you reach the target, it will deal AoE Volcanic damage.

Elementium Pocket Anvil Icon Elementium Pocket Anvil adds a chance for your Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike to deal additional damage. The on-use aspect of this trinket boosts the damage from this proc up, and this additional damage buff can stack up to 5 times. The buff from the on-use effect will fade when you leave combat, and you have 15 seconds to keep the buff up.

Neltharion's Call to Suffering Icon Neltharion's Call to Suffering provides you with a very large amount of Strength for 12 seconds when it procs, but also applies a DoT to you. The damage taken is fairly trivial and the trinket drops at the highest possible item level in Season 2 on Mythic.


Defensive Trinkets

Ward of Faceless Ire Icon Ward of Faceless Ire applies a large absorb shield to either yourself or another friendly target. However, if the shield breaks, it will apply a DoT to that player.

Treemouth's Festering Splinter Icon Treemouth's Festering Splinter is a very strong defensive trinket. It will deal some damage to you but also apply a very large absorb shield. The trinket also only has a 1.5-minute cooldown making it very readily available to fit between your other defensive cooldown options.


Flightstone Upgrades

The Valor Upgrade system is gone in Season 2 and is replaced by a new system that allows for item upgrades to be obtained from a wider variety of content.

Dragonflight Season 2 introduces two new currencies: Flightstones Icon Flightstones and Shadowflame Crests both obtainable from practically all forms of content in the game. They can be used to upgrade gear up to Item Level 441, which is entry-level Mythic Raid Item Level. They can also upgrade Crafted Gear up to iLvl 447, which is late-Mythic Item Level.

For more information on the new Gear Upgrades system, check out our dedicated page for it below.

As with Valor, the cost to upgrade scales differs per slot but now also increases quickly as item levels go up.

We recommend upgrading with the following priority list:

  • If you are not raiding Mythic or will not be killing Neltharion Mythic soon and you have a Heroic Ashkandur, Fall of the Brotherhood Icon Ashkandur, Fall of the Brotherhood. Upgrade this.
  • If you are not raiding Mythic or will not be killing Scalecommander Sarkareth Mythic soon and you have a Heroic Voice of the Silent Star Icon Voice of the Silent Star or Beacon to the Beyond Icon Beacon to the Beyond. Upgrade these.
  • Upgrade your lowest item level slots or use a Raidbots Droptimiser sim to evaluate what to upgrade next.

Enchants and Sockets

Once you have obtained a piece of gear containing a prismatic socket or needing to be enchanted, you will need to know how to modify it. Details about these tweaks can be found on our dedicated gems, enchants, and consumables page.


Onyx Annulet and Primordial Gems

This ring came into the game with Patch 10.0.7. The Onyx Annulet Icon Onyx Annulet Blood Death Knights still have value as a damage option. However, if you want to gear more defensively or would prefer more consistent damage in AoE, we would recommend that you use a Season 2 / Crafted ring for the secondary stats.

For more information regarding the Onyx Annulet, the Primordial Gemstones, and how to obtain them, check out our dedicated guide for it below.

For a list of what Primordial Gems are the best for Blood Death Knight, see our Enchants and Gems page.



  • 24 May 2023: Added timewalking section.
  • 01 May 2023: Updated for Season 2 launch. Moved Onyx Annulet section to the bottom of the page (It's still good for damage!)
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Added Onyx Annulet and clarified its use in content.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Updated for Season 1 launch.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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