Blood Death Knight Tank Stat Priority — Dragonflight 10.2

Last updated on Nov 06, 2023 at 17:50 by Mandl and Panthea 35 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 — Dragonflight 10.2.

1.

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, Critical Strike, Versatility or 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 (or any other secondary stat!) — outside of rings and trinkets, practically any item that provides a 10+ item level increase should be treated as an upgrade.

Dragonflight enables competent Death Knights to keep a noticeably higher uptime on Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon thanks to the combination of Everlasting Bond Icon Everlasting Bond and Insatiable Blade Icon Insatiable Blade, coupled with Tombstone Icon Tombstone. While it will not be as spectacular as Shadowlands Season 4, you can expect 35-40% uptime. This, in turn, massively increases the relative defensive value of Critical Strike, as the bonus parry from Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon is additive and without diminishing returns. This makes every single point of avoidance (dodge, parry, miss) 40% more appealing while Dancing Rune Weapon Icon Dancing Rune Weapon is up while also providing a very significant amount of damage reduction against physical damage. This also manifests in single-target - those who have progressed bosses such as Sludgefist, Mythic Jailer, or even Echo of Neltharion know the value of avoiding a single swing - while not lethal in itself, it allows resources to be spent differently, in a more relaxed manner.

One encounter in Dragonflight Season 3 Mythic+ actively tests this behavior - Soulbound Goliath, in Waycrest Manor.

Generally, all secondaries are so close together in value defensively and offensively that most gear adjustments should be made by simming rather than chasing certain secondaries. You can use Raidbots' Droptimizer feature to allow you to discover potential upgrades worth farming by looking at their value for your character right now instead of trying to justify an item solely based on what flavor of green text it provides.

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 through 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, with numerous talents (such as Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward, Iron Heart Icon Iron Heart or Bloodshot Icon Bloodshot impacting the value of each point of mastery). This Blood Shield Icon Blood Shield is directly tied to damage taken, works purely off physical damage (this sounds bad, but on heavy magical damage fights, this allows you to be literally immune to physical damage. We've had a number of these encounters in Mythic+), and is capped at your max HP before Gloom Ward Icon Gloom Ward. 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. This, in practice, is very appealing, particularly in Mythic+ - where 95-99% of your damage taken is parryable auto-attacks. While each individual swing's chance to get parried is somewhat random, the combination across multiple swings coming from multiple enemies is very reliable and smooth - with the odds of reduction across a number of swings being very easy to quantify using probabilities and working out to significantly better odds than on individual swings.

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

Haste increases your attack speed and Rune regeneration while also reducing your Global Cooldown. This, in practice, leads to a very slight compression effect, where the resources you would generate and be able to spend are compressed over a slightly shorter interval. It is not the panacea rookie death knights think it is - but it is definitely still nice and absolutely not worth avoiding.

The moment you pick Improved Bone Shield Icon Improved Bone Shield, you instantly gain 10% multiplicative haste - making each percentage of haste effectively 10% better.

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

  • 06 Nov. 2023: Prepared for 10.2.
  • 04 Sep. 2023: Clarified stats.
  • 10 Jul. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.5.
  • 01 May 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.1.
  • 20 Mar. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.7.
  • 24 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Patch 10.0.5.
  • 11 Dec. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight Season 1.
  • 28 Nov. 2022: Reviewed for Dragonflight launch.
  • 25 Oct. 2022: Updated for Dragonflight pre-patch.
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