Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Blood Death Knight in Battle for Azeroth (BfA)

Last updated on Jun 02, 2018 at 16:58 by Volstatsz 262 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, you will find information on how to play your Blood Death Knight in Battle for Azeroth. Because the new expansion is still in beta, this guide is simply here to help you perform better in the beta or to give you a sneak peek into what the new expansion has in store for your class.

The other pages of our Blood Death Knight guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Volstatsz, a Blood Death Knight theorycrafter and moderator for the Acherus Death Knight community. You can follow him on Twitter.

1. Foreword

The purpose of this page is to introduce players to the changes to Blood in Battle for Azeroth. It will cover changes to mechanics, baseline abilities, talents, and the new Azerite traits. As with anything in a beta, all of this is subject to change.

Blood in Battle for Azeroth is very similar to the Legion version of the spec. The removal of the artifact traits and a shuffle of the talent tree will create some small adjustments to gameplay. The mechanics of tanking have changed in a number of ways, though it remains to be seen what effect (if any) those changes will have on gameplay.

2. Gameplay Changes for Blood Death Knight in BfA

On the Beta, Blood plays basically the same as it does on live. It will be important for Blood players to remain mindful of the addition of Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon to the global cooldown, as well as Tombstone Icon Tombstone, if taking the talent. Due to the loss of  Icon Rattling Bones and  Icon Mouth of Hell — as well as the overall reduction in Haste from live — players will use Marrowrend Icon Marrowrend more frequently on the Beta. The rotation remains identical to the one used during Legion.

3. Mechanical Changes for Blood Death Knight in BfA

  1. Tank threat generation has been significantly reduced, from +900% to +300%.
  2. Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon, Death Grip Icon Death Grip, and Tombstone Icon Tombstone have been added to the global cooldown.
  3. Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield now increases armor instead of absorbing damage.
  4. Armor will be less effective as content becomes more difficult.
  5. All Blood Death Knight abilities now use a normalized damage formula incorporating weapon damage.

4. Changes to Baseline Abilities for Blood Death Knight in BfA

  1. Death Strike Icon Death Strike has been buffed to heal 30% of recent damage. This exists to balance the reduction in damage Blood Death Knights will take due to the Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield change, but it still works out to a modest buff.
  2. Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk is now a talent, and all Death Knight specs now have Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance as a baseline ability. Especially for Blood, this is a net positive — Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance is slightly net movement due to the longer duration, and unlike Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk, players can use abilities without breaking the effect. Additionally, many boss encounters will allow Blood Death Knights to take the Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk talent and significantly increase overall mobility.
  3. Gorefiend's Grasp Icon Gorefiend's Grasp now has a range of 15 yards, down from 20 yards in Legion. This reduces the total area of effect by about 45%.
  4. Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon now has a 2-minute cooldown, down from 3 minutes in Legion.
  5. The snare effect on Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike now reduces movement speed by 20%, down from 50% in Legion.

5. Changes to Talents for Blood Death Knight in BfA

BFA Blood Talent Tree

In addition several talents being removed and replaced, the talent tree for Blood has had several talents shuffled around, as well as many significant changes to existing talents.

5.1. Tier 1 (Level 56) Talents

Heartbreaker Icon Heartbreaker remains unchanged from Legion. While the mechanics of Blooddrinker Icon Blooddrinker are the same, its damage has been dramatically reduced compared to player health, rendering the healing component nearly useless. Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike is a redesign of Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap, gaining a damage component and scaling better with haste. With current tuning, Blooddrinker Icon Blooddrinker deals the most damage, while Rune Strike Icon Rune Strike provides the most defensive value with increased throughput and flexibility.

5.2. Tier 2 (Level 57) Talents

Rapid Decomposition Icon Rapid Decomposition has been significantly nerfed, providing a negligible amount of increased damage and virtually no increase to mitigation. Hemostasis Icon Hemostasis is a reworked version of the effect from Skullflower's Haemostasis Icon Skullflower's Haemostasis, which now scales to the number of targets hit. Consumption Icon Consumption is a direct copy of the Legion artifact ability. With current tuning, Hemostasis Icon Hemostasis is going to be the default pick.

5.3. Tier 3 (Level 58) Talents

Foul Bulwark Icon Foul Bulwark and Ossuary Icon Ossuary now compete with each other, preventing the synergy that made them guaranteed picks in nearly every situation during Legion. Tombstone Icon Tombstone is also on this row and remains unchanged, beyond being added to the global cooldown. Given the 50% nerf to Foul Bulwark Icon Foul Bulwark, it will be hard to justify any talent other than Ossuary Icon Ossuary on this row with current tuning.

5.4. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis remains the same as Legion. Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier has been reworked to reduce the cooldown of Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell and increase effectiveness. Rune Tap Icon Rune Tap now mitigates 10% less, while lasting 1 second longer. No longer competing with Foul Bulwark Icon Foul Bulwark, Rune Tap Icon Rune Tap is the obvious choice in nearly any situation.

5.5. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

The snare component of Tightening Grasp Icon Tightening Grasp has been removed and reworked into a separate talent, Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead. Wraith Walk Icon Wraith Walk, now a talent, provides a second mobility cooldown. All of the talents on this row remain viable, depending on the encounter.

5.6. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Voracious Icon Voracious is a new talent, providing a Leech buff after Death Strike Icon Death Strike. This provides a negligible increase to mitigation; leech healing generally has a high degree of overhealing, and right after using Death Strike Icon Death Strike is when a Blood Death Knight will be most likely to overheal with leech healing. Bloodworms Icon Bloodworms has been moved to this row; it no longer requires critical strikes to trigger, and thanks to a significant increase to auto attack damage across the board, deals a meaningful amount of damage on beta. This is currently the best pick on this row. Mark of Blood Icon Mark of Blood functions in the same manner as during Legion, but has received several nerfs: it now has a 6-second cooldown, lasts 15 seconds (down from 25,) and heals 2% of the target's maximum health (down from 3%.) Mark of Blood Icon Mark of Blood was a poor choice in Legion already, so the beta version is unlikely to see play.

5.7. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Purgatory Icon Purgatory remains unchanged from Legion, and will still be the default choice on content where there is a meaningful chance the tank might die. Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst has been moved to this row and nerfed, now requiring 10 Runic Power to reduce the cooldown of Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood, up from 6. Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst can be viable if the cooldown reduction allows for a better cooldown plan; this will depend on the encounter. Bonestorm Icon Bonestorm has been buffed to heal 3% of maximum health per second, up from 2%. It will remain a viable choice in AoE content where Purgatory Icon Purgatory is not needed.

6. Azerite Traits for Blood Death Knight

Azerite Traits are the bonuses unlocked on chest, shoulder, and head slot armor by the Heart of Azeroth Icon Heart of Azeroth. They are only partially developed at this time; exact numbers will likely be re-tuned before launch. Currently, Azerite Traits do not have a significant impact on gameplay for Blood Death Knights.

6.1. Blood Death Knight Azerite Traits

  1. Bones of the Damned Icon Bones of the Damned will operate similarly to  Icon Rattling Bones, although currently with a much lower proc rate, and also provide a buff to Armor.
  2. Bone Spike Graveyard Icon Bone Spike Graveyard adds a burst of damage and healing when the player casts Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay.
  3. Deep Cuts Icon Deep Cuts provides an increase to Blood Plague Icon Blood Plague healing when you use Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike.
  4. Embrace of the Darkfallen Icon Embrace of the Darkfallen provides a leech buff for 10 seconds after Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood expires.
  5. Eternal Rune Weapon Icon Eternal Rune Weapon allows you to extend the duration of Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon by 0.5 seconds for each rune you spend, up to a maximum of 5 additional seconds of duration. It will also provide a buff to Strength during Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon.
  6. Marrowblood Icon Marrowblood increases Death Strike Icon Death Strike healing for each stack of Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield.
  7. Runic Barrier Icon Runic Barrier increases the duration and amount of damage absorbed by Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell.

7. ChangeLog

  • 02 Jun. 2018: Updated Azerite Traits to remove one obsolete trait and add three new traits.
  • 29 May 2018: Fixed a typo regarding threat generation; updated mechanics to accurately describe the change to damage calculation.
  • 28 May 2018: Page added.
+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
Force desktop version
Force mobile version