Blood Death Knight Tank Spec, Builds, and Talents — Dragonflight 10.0.2

Last updated on Nov 28, 2022 at 10:47 by Mandl and Panthea 29 comments
General Information

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Blood Death Knight in World of Warcraft — Dragonflight 10.0.2. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

On this page, we cover all of the talents you have access to, explaining how each one of them is to be used. Some of these talents, active or passive, can make a huge difference in how Blood Death Knights are played, all of which is explained on our rotation page.

Dragonflight has changed the way talents are selected. In Dragonflight, you can change your talents from anywhere and do not require a tome to do so. As long as you are out of combat, you can freely interact with the tree, and enable or disable loadouts at will.

Some talents have a more versatile use in Mythic+ than in raids; as such, if this is more your thing, we strongly recommend that you check the Mythic+ page.

1.

Talent Builds for Blood Death Knights

Two default builds are detailed below. These provide a balance of throughput and unique utility. You can import them as loadouts using the codes below:

1.1.

Raid Talents for Blood Death Knights

Due to the relatively lower value from Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap, our Raid build opts out of it entirely and only picks one talent point in Heartbreaker Icon Heartbreaker and Reinforced Bones Icon Reinforced Bones to save talent points for use in other areas of the tree.

You can import this talent tree in game by pressing the "Copy Export String" button on the calculator and Importing the string as a new talent layout in game.

1.2.

Mythic+ Talents for Blood Death Knights

Mythic+ relies a lot more on group utility and, specifically, the ability to soft-interrupt targets. To that extent, we opted to pick Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet and Abomination Limb Icon Abomination Limb in the class tree, as it fills that niche perfectly.

You can import this talent tree in game by pressing the "Copy Export String" button on the calculator and Importing the string as a new talent layout in game.

2.

Blood Death Knight Talents Explained

Due to the nature of Dragonflight's talent trees, almost every talent is meant to be viable or have a desirable niche where you may want to select it. As such, we will cover some of the more favored talents that you will want to prioritize most of the time from the top of each tree on down, followed by mentioning some of the bigger niche talents that are likely only rarely useful. If you would like to see a list of every single talent's effect as well as the abbreviations they are often known by in the community, please consult our Spell List and Glossary section instead.

2.1.

Talent Rows 1-4 Talents for Blood Death Knights

These talents give you the core identity of being a Death Knight. You will find a good mix of Utility, Offensive and Defensive options here.

2.1.1.

Noteworthy Talents

Talent Description/Effect
Death Strike Icon Death Strike Your main Runic Power spender and does not cost any talent points for Blood Death Knights. When cast you will heal for 25% of all damage taken (which is not environmental damage) in the last 5 seconds.
Raise Dead Icon Raise Dead Summon a pet ghoul for 1 minute. It deals damage to your current target, but can be enhanced with Enfeeble Icon Enfeeble to reduce the damage the target deals to you.
Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike Your main Runic Power builder. Additionally Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike generates 15 Runic Power for a single rune spent (other spells generate 10 Runic Power per Rune spent). The amount of Runic Power generated can be increased more with Heartbreaker Icon Heartbreaker.
Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze Mind Freeze Icon Mind Freeze is your interrupt; as a melee interrupt with a 15 yard range, it is particularly strong. You can grab Coldthirst Icon Coldthirst to reduce its cooldown to 12 seconds and grant you 10 Runic Power when you successfully interrupt a target.
Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell Can prevent magic debuffs from being applied and also acts as a magic damage absorb shield.
Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil Mainly used as your AoE threat generation tool, it also applies Blood Plague Icon Blood Plague to all targets hit. This talent can be enhanced further with Hemostasis Icon Hemostasis to increase the power of your Death Strike Icon Death Strike.
Anti-Magic Barrier Icon Anti-Magic Barrier This both increases the amount of damage that Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell can absorb and reduces the cooldown of it too. If you do not need the size or frequency increases then skip this talent.
Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood When used this will increase your maximum health by 30% and increase all of your healing and absorbs received by 30%. This will start as a 1.5 minute cooldown, but it can be reduced with Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst.
Veteran of the Third War Icon Veteran of the Third War What was once a Death Knight passive effect is now a talent. This reduces your damage taken by 20% and should not be skipped.
Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude 30% damage reduction on use as well as a stun immunity. It can also be used to remove stuns after you have been stunned.
Ossuary Icon Ossuary This talent makes Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield management important as whilst you are above 5 stacks of Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield the cost of your Death Strike Icon Death Strike will be reduced.
Death's Caress Icon Death's Caress One of very few ranged spells for Blood Death Knights. It costs 1 Rune, generates 2 charges of Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield. This will be used quite rarely but it is your only efficient spell option to use when you are not in melee range.
2.1.2.

Niche Talents

Talent When to Consider
Blinding Sleet Icon Blinding Sleet This spell was previously only available for Frost Death Knights, but now its available for all 3 specs. It disorients and soft-interrupts all targets in a 12 yard cone in front of you for up to 5 seconds. As one of three such disorients in the game (Dragon's Breath Icon Dragon's Breath and Blinding Light Icon Blinding Light being the other two), its usefulness cannot be understated.
Control Undead Icon Control Undead Unfortunately this talent may not see much play in Dragonflight as there are fewer Undead enemies present. However, when there are Undead enemies it can prove to be useful as you can make them your temporary pet and use their abilities.
2.2.

Talent Rows 5-7 Talents for Blood Death Knights

This area of the tree is where you will find most of the core cooldowns and strong passives.

2.2.1.

Noteworthy Talents

Talent Description/Effect
Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone Your big raid cooldown. You will likely only pick this in raiding scenarios, but it is a very powerful defensive cooldown for the raid.
Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon This gives you 40% Parry and spawns an additional weapon which copies your attacks. The copied attacks also provide you with benefits. Marrowrend Icon Marrowrend and Death's Caress Icon Death's Caress generate Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield charges for you, Heart Strike Icon Heart Strike generates Runic Power for you, and Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil applies additional Blood Plague Icon Blood Plague's to the target.
Hemostasis Icon Hemostasis When you cast Blood Boil Icon Blood Boil each target hit will give you 1 stack of this buff. Each stack will increase the damage and healing of your next Death Strike Icon Death Strike by 8% (up to 40%).
Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward This buffs all absorbs you generate and receive by 15%. This works out to an effective 15% buff to Mastery: Blood Shield Icon Mastery: Blood Shield, Tombstone Icon Tombstone, Anti-Magic Shell Icon Anti-Magic Shell, Anti-Magic Zone Icon Anti-Magic Zone and Permafrost Icon Permafrost. It is probably the strongest talent point in our entire tree.
Unholy Endurance Icon Unholy Endurance This modifies Lichborne Icon Lichborne to significantly extend its duration, and also turns it into a damage reduction cooldown. It is now even more worth pressing than before!
Improved Bone Shield Icon Improved Bone Shield 10% Haste whilst you have Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield active.
Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation For a single talent point this gives you a large amount of Runic Power. It works out to a neat 50RP (+ haste) per minute in completely free, no-strings-attached, bonus Runic Power.
Unholy Ground Icon Unholy Ground This modifies Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay. While you are in your own Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay, you gain 5% haste. It is one of the three individual multipliers that causes us to hardcast Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay even on single-target in Dragonflight.
Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade This makes Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon both more frequent and more rotationally powerful. 5 Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield charges are generated when you cast Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon and when a Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield charge is consumed the cooldown of Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon is reduced by 5 seconds. This talent has great synergy with Tombstone Icon Tombstone.
Everlasting Bond Icon Everlasting Bond This summons a second Rune Weapon. As with the main rune weapon this too will replicate your attacks and give you the benefits.
Coagulopathy Icon Coagulopathy One of two new buffs to manage as a Blood Death Knight. Every time you Death Strike Icon Death Strike you gain a stack of Coagulopathy Icon Coagulopathy which lasts for 8 seconds. Each stack increases the damage of your Blood Plague Icon Blood Plague by 30%.
2.2.2.

Niche Talents

Talent When to Consider
Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate If you are interested in Mythic+ and need the specific utility, you can grab Asphyxiate Icon Asphyxiate to gain a stun on a short cooldown. Its value is significantly reduced compared to Shadowlands as you will have two charges of Death Grip Icon Death Grip baseline.
Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead If you are looking for a potent snare, Grip of the Dead Icon Grip of the Dead is available. Much like the Shadowlands version, any enemy that steps into Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay is snared by 90%, decaying by 10% every second.
Acclimation Icon Acclimation 60s cooldown reduction on Icebound Fortitude Icon Icebound Fortitude.
Blood Tap Icon Blood Tap This gives you the ability to generate 1 Rune on demand. You will likely only ever need this in Mythic+ scenarios.
2.3.

Talent Rows 8-10 Talents for Blood Death Knights

This area of the talent tree rounds off your character and makes the spec feel more complete.

2.3.1.

Noteworthy Talents

Talent Description/Effect
Insidious Chill Icon Insidious Chill This slows the auto-attack speed of enemies that you auto-attack. Insidious Chill Icon Insidious Chill will stack and total a 20% attack speed reduction on whatever you auto-attack, which, if they are a melee, implies a 20% statistical damage taken reduction for you and whoever else happens to be tanking!
Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis Will of the Necropolis Icon Will of the Necropolis is returning in a slightly buffed version for Dragonflight. At rank 2, it is a 35% pseudo-damage reduction, up from 30%.
Death's Echo Icon Death's Echo Death's Echo Icon Death's Echo is a mandatory talent, despite looking boring and innocuous. It grants you a second charge of Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay, Death Grip Icon Death Grip and Death's Advance Icon Death's Advance and causes all effects that reset their cooldown to refund a charge instead. With Crimson Scourge Icon Crimson Scourge specifically, this allows you to not lose fractional uptime on Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay whenever you get resets. With the number of bells and whistles added to Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay, this talent is extremely strong.
Tombstone Icon Tombstone This allows you to gain a massive amount of cooldown reduction on Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon. It also provides a surprisingly large amount of damage through Shattering Bone Icon Shattering Bone.
Sanguine Ground Icon Sanguine Ground 5% healing and damage is just too good to pass up, and it also is the only way towards Iron Heart Icon Iron Heart and Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst.
Icy Talons Icon Icy Talons This increases your auto-attack speed. We take it primarily to get access to Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon, but it has value on its own: it is a 9% buff to Permafrost Icon Permafrost and additional statistical chances to get Runic Attenuation Icon Runic Attenuation procs.
Unholy Bond Icon Unholy Bond This amplifies the effect of your runeforges.
Shattering Bone Icon Shattering Bone This passive effect will do 10-15% of your damage in all content, and the main condition of it (being in Death and Decay Icon Death and Decay is already fulfilled rotationally!)
Iron Heart Icon Iron Heart This increases the duration of your Blood Shield by 2 seconds and increases the amount it absorbs by 20%. Very powerful talent and it only costs 1 point!
Red Thirst Icon Red Thirst You will always want at least 1 point invested into this talent for the cooldown reduction on Vampiric Blood Icon Vampiric Blood. The second point should only be invested if you want to path to Umbilicus Eternus Icon Umbilicus Eternus.
Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon This will grant you 15% Haste, 1 Rune and 5 Runic Power when cast. Additionally, you will generate 5 Runic Power every 5 seconds for 20 seconds. Whilst Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon is active you will have an abundance of Runic Power and will need to be mindful of reaching the cap on Runic Power.
Abomination Limb Icon Abomination Limb This will deal AoE damage, grip targets towards you, and generate Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield charges per tick. In total you will get 9 Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield charges over its duration, and Abomination Limb Icon Abomination Limb should be used as close to on cooldown as possible (and macroed into Empower Rune Weapon Icon Empower Rune Weapon).
Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper This is a powerful single-target execute ability. This should only be used on targets below 35% HP and when it expires it will deal a large amount of damage to the target. If the target dies with Soul Reaper Icon Soul Reaper you will be given the Runic Corruption Icon Runic Corruption buff (However, this buff is heavily reduced for Blood).
Bloodshot Icon Bloodshot This will provide you with a boost to your Physical damage whilst you have Blood Shield active (Mastery).
2.3.2.

Niche Talents

Talent When to Consider
Gorefiend's Grasp Icon Gorefiend's Grasp If you need additional grip utility.
Purgatory Icon Purgatory If you need a Cheat Death for safety on Progression Raid Encounters or high end Mythic+ Key Pushing.
Umbilicus Eternus Icon Umbilicus Eternus On high target count scenarios where you need additional survival.
3.

PvP Talents (War Mode)

Since Battle for Azeroth, there is the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.
3.1.

Blood Death Knight PvP Talents

  1. Death Chain Icon Death Chain is a nice damage increase when pulling 3 or more enemies, though the 30-second cooldown prevents it from being used on every pull.
  2. Necrotic Aura Icon Necrotic Aura and Murderous Intent Icon Murderous Intent can be very strong when completing open-world content in a group, but have very limited value in solo play.

Dark Simulacrum Icon Dark Simulacrum, Decomposing Aura Icon Decomposing Aura, Strangulate Icon Strangulate, and Walking Dead Icon Walking Dead all have limited value in PvE content.

Last Dance Icon Last Dance is a trap talent and should never be picked. You gain no additional uptime on Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon at the cost of one more global cooldown every minute, due to the reduced cooldown.

While PvPing as Blood Death Knight can certainly be fun, you might also want to try out PvPing as either Frost or Unholy. Both of these specs will deal a lot more damage while being squishier.

4.

Changelog

  • 28 Nov. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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