Blood Death Knight Tank Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3

Last updated on Aug 13, 2020 at 10:00 by Mandl and Panthea 58 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Blood Death Knight guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.3. Here, you will learn how to tank as a Blood Death Knight in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons. We cover everything from the basics all the way to min-maxing techniques to optimize your survivability.

1.

Blood Death Knight Overview

The Blood specialization has an engaging playstyle, using self-healing through Death Strike Icon Death Strike as a primary source of damage mitigation. Blood has a versatile defensive toolkit and is effective in the full range of current content.

Note that this guide focuses on aspects that are specific to Blood Death Knights and general tanking strategies are beyond its scope. If you wish to know more about the tanking role and what you can do to improve, we recommend that you read our tanking guide.

2.

Shadowlands Changes for Death Knights

We are maintaining a list of changes for Death Knights for Shadowlands, the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, which you can access using the link below. We also have pages for the new Covenant abilities and Anima Powers.

3.

Patch 8.3 Changes for Blood Death Knight

While the changes for Blood Death Knight do not go far beyond simple bug fixes, you can view the Patch 8.3 change list below.

In addition, we have:

4.

Blood Death Knight Strengths

5.

Blood Death Knight Weaknesses

  • Limited mobility
  • Reactive mitigation model, leading to spiky health
  • Our reactive self-healing does not take into account environmental or self-inflicted damage, leading to a disadvantage on certain Mythic+ affixes
6.

Blood Death Knight Viability in the Current Patch

With the right playstyle and the knowledge of encounters, Blood Death Knights can be a force to be reckoned with, particularly in fights with infrequent, high, but not lethal physical damage. Their toolkit is also varied, and seasoned players will find answers to almost every situation they might get into in Mythic+.

This said, due to the changes that occured in 8.1, we are currently the tank with the lowest amount of armor, both baseline and with Active Mitigation up. We take a significantly larger amount of damage than other tanks, and this can be a very important fact to be taken into consideration when choosing a tank. After all, you cannot heal back up if you are dead.

Our damage is strictly middle-of-the-road, requiring a specific set of trinkets to execute. Our Azerite traits are weak to non-existent, making the first ring a minimal gain at best. Our Essence choice is largely down to generic Essences. This is both a gift and a curse: Azerite means virtually nothing to us, but it also means that the massive potential gain that other tanks are seeing are just not realized with this specialization.

7.

Changelog

  • 13 Aug. 2020 (enchants page): Changed gem recommendations. The strength gems have been underwhelming, and it is time to sunset that recommendation.
  • 26 May 2020 (Corruption page): Added Echoes vendor info.
  • 08 Apr. 2020 (Essences page): Edited default Essence choices.
  • 08 Apr. 2020 (gear page): Added link to Corruption page.
  • 08 Apr. 2020 (Corruption page): Added page.
  • 08 Apr. 2020 (easy mode page): Added note about third Minor Essence choice.
  • 24 Mar. 2020 (rotation page): Small readability changes for optional talents
  • 20 Feb. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Large update on boss tips.
  • 21 Jan. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Guide added.
  • 14 Jan. 2020 (addons page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (spells page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (stats page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (gear page): Updated trinkets and weapons slightly.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (easy mode page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (enchants page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (how to improve page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Essences page): Added Patch 8.3 Essences, proofread and updated to reflect current community knowledge.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (this page): Reviewed for Patch 8.3.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (rotation page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (mythic+ page): Added Season 4 information.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (simulations page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Ny'alotha, added Heart of Darkness, reworked recommendations slightly.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (FAQ page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (talents page): This page was reviewed for Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 20 Dec. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated essence choices.
  • 16 Aug. 2019 (Essences page): Changed recommendations based on live testing and analysis. Will change again when Worldvein gets fixed.
  • 15 Aug. 2019 (easy mode page): Changing essence recommendations. Worldvein is bugged.
  • 05 Aug. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added more information on handling Beguiling adds.
  • 23 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with Mythic information from Week 1.
  • 13 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Further updates to class tips.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Updated with additional information and up-to-date Essence recommendations.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (mythic+ page): Added section on Beguiling.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (easy mode page): Added Essences section.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (this page): Reviewed viability section.
  • 11 Jul. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added TEP/Mechagon traits.
  • 08 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (rotation page): Updated for Patch 8.2. Minor changes and clarifications, including changes to the priority list to reflect up-to-date knowledge.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (FAQ page): Updated for Patch 8.2. Removed false claims about rune strike and re-worked the Defensive vs. Offensive section.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): Added new potions section.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): Added notes about spending runes.
  • 26 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (mythic+ page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (addons page): Macro added for Re-controling pet.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been updated for Patch 8.2.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 24 Jun. 2019 (Essences page): Page added.
  • 11 Jun. 2019 (gear page): Overhauled page for Season 3 and TEP release.
  • 26 May 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Page was completely reworked with new information and recommendations.
  • 25 May 2019 (easy mode page): Removed Reference to Refreshing Blood Shield.
  • 21 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (enchants page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (stats page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (Uldir page): Updated wording in the introduction.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Guide created for Season 2.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (gear page): Added Season 2 trinkets; removed Legion legendary discussion.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (rotation page): Added rotation consideration for Bloody Runeblade.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (talents page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (spells page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (FAQ page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (easy mode page): Fixed the ordering of secondary stats in the stat priority.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Season 2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 22 Jan. 2019 (azerite traits and gear page): Added Season 2 traits and added discussion of a larger array of trait choices.
  • 18 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated stats answer; added race selection.
  • 18 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added 8.1 viability section.
  • 11 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added change to Purgatory.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated recommendations for Fetid Devourer, Vectis, Zul, Mythrax, and G'huun.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Added new 8.1 food, clarified runeforge recommendation, updated flask/feast usage for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): Added consideration of Bloody Runeblade to the Crimson Scourge proc.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Added Patch 8.1 talent changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated stat distribution answer.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated tips for Freehold.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): Updated and clarified stat priority.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): Simulations updated to use Raidbots.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated trait recommendations for Patch 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Updated for Patch 8.1.
  • 09 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Removed references to legendary effects and tier bonuses, fixed an error in Icebound Fortitude Detailed Usage, clarified wording in rotation.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated recommendations for several bosses.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Added trinket recommendations.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Updated consumables with changes to stat priority.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (stats page): Updated stat priority.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated tips for Atal'Dazar and Temple of Sethraliss.
  • 24 Sep. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated stat priority.
  • 06 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated MOTHER and Fetid Devourer recommendations.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (enchants page): Added Strength gem recommendation.
  • 04 Sep. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Uldir boss recommendations.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (mythic+ page): Added dungeon tips.
  • 26 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Fixed Death and Decay macro to cast at cursor.
  • 24 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Made a few tweaks to the page.
  • 24 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Clarified stat/upgrade priority.
  • 24 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated talent recommendations for Levels 56, 75, and 100.
  • 24 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated Azerite Trait and Gear recommendations.
  • 24 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Made minor changes to talent recommendations.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated the rotation to include new optimizations.
  • 04 Aug. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated Rotation to include new optimizations.
  • 23 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Updated Legendary ranking.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (this page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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