Blood Death Knight Tank Stat Priority — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 12:39 by Volstatsz 45 comments

On this page, you will find out the optimal stat priority for your Blood Death Knight. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations. Our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1.

1. The Basics of Stats for Blood Death Knight

The general stat priority for Blood Death Knights is as follows:

  1. Item Level;
  2. Versatility;
  3. Haste;
  4. Critical Strike;
  5. Mastery.

The benefit of Armor, Strength, and to a lesser extent Stamina from higher item level gear generally outpaces the benefit from optimal secondary stats. Do not consistently sacrifice item level to chase Haste — outside of rings and trinkets, practically any item that provides a 10+ item level increase should be treated as an upgrade.

Versatility and Haste are your two best secondary stats, with Versatility having an edge. It is fine to prioritize Haste over Versatility if you are having difficulty maintaining the rotation or timing Death Strike Icon Death Strike effectively.

As a tank, you will be trying to optimize for too many competing metrics to assign numerical weights to different stats with any precision. Additionally, the value of a given stat will depend greatly on your individual circumstances — how many healers you have, the difficulty of the content, and your strategy for an encounter can all have a significant impact on the relative value of each stat.

2. Getting a Better Understanding of Blood Death Knight Stats

Strength is your primary statistic as a Death Knight. It increases the armor bonus of Bone Shield Icon Bone Shield, increases your damage, increases your chance to parry attacks, and provides a small increase to your self-healing though several leech abilities available to Blood Death Knights.

Mastery increases the size of your Blood Shield Icon Blood Shield, which gives Death Strike Icon Death Strike a damage-smoothing component. Mastery also increases the damage dealt by all your attacks through Mastery: Blood Shield Icon Mastery: Blood Shield.

Critical Strike increases your chance for your abilities to deal 100% more damage, and all of your Critical Strike chance is converted into parry chance.

Versatility increases all your damage and healing done, and decreases all damage taken.

Haste increases your attack speed and Rune regeneration, the latter granting you more resources and therefore allowing you to use more abilities. Due to the reactive nature of Blood mitigation, Haste makes your mitigation more effective - reactive mitigation is only valuable if your healers do not change their behavior due to damage spikes; your goal as a self-healing tank is to heal damage spikes before your healers realize you took damage.

Most encounters have abilities that cannot be mitigated or avoided. Also, you need to have a decent amount of health, in order to give yourself the chance to be healed before a subsequent attack kills you. As such, you need a minimum amount of Stamina. This amount will, in most cases, simply come from the Stamina found innately on your gear. Therefore, item level is the determining factor in keeping your health pool growing.

3. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018: Updated and clarified stat priority.
  • 24 Sep. 2018: Updated stat priority.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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