Blood Death Knight Tank Stat Priority — Shadowlands 9.2.5

Last updated on May 31, 2022 at 00:05 by Mandl and Panthea 26 comments
General Information

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 — Shadowlands 9.2.5.


The Basics of Stats for Blood Death Knight

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

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

On Jewelry (and pieces without Strength on them), the priority is as follows:

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

On rings and necklaces specifically, and only once you have acquired your 2-piece set bonus, a 60-70 item level drop could very well be an upgrade if it allows you to acquire more haste (or shuffle it elsewhere). Use Raidbots' top gear functionality to explore these options!

Versatility and Haste are your two best secondary stats, with Versatility having an edge before you acquire your 2-piece set bonus, Endless Rune Waltz Icon Blood DK 2-Piece. Once you have your set bonus, due to the gain in GCDs and Runes during Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon, Haste rapidly picks up in value.

It is worth noting that Endless Rune Waltz Icon Blood DK 2-Piece strongly increases the value of Haste, and the Endless Rune Waltz Icon Blood DK 4-Piece amplifies this even further. This is purely down to how the duration extension from it is static, and the duration of your GCD is not. The lower your GCD is (up to a point — this has sharp diminishing returns, both due to Haste's diminishing return brackets, but also because this gain loses value as you get more of it), the more free/open GCDs you get out of the 2-piece set bonus, which in turn allows you to keep Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon going for even longer!

To give you a rough estimate of the impact of this, going from 0% to 10% base Haste is a 35% increase in Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon uptime on simulations, and going from 10% to 20% is a 15% increase in uptime. Going from 20% to 30% is a < 5% increase, and going from 30% to 40% is within error delta. Simulationcraft and its related APLs have been reworked, optimized and tuned to optimize Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon uptime, allowing you to quickly see at a glance how much you should be getting out of the set, and out of the amount of Haste on your gear.

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.


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.



  • 31 May 2022: Page reviewed for Patch 9.2.5.
  • 10 Apr. 2022: Adding information about the tier set's impact on stats.
  • 20 Feb. 2022: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.2.
  • 01 Nov. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.5.
  • 29 Jun. 2021: Reviewed and approved for Patch 9.1.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 23 Nov. 2020: Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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