Updating for Legion
Blood is for survival. You won’t hit as hard as Frost or Unholy, but you’re much tougher than either which gives you an edge. Warlords changed this around a bit and tanks in PvP now hit harder than before and aren’t quite as tough. You will still last much longer than the other two specs.
Learn to Blood and you can have a lot of fun.
Prior to level 100 Blood can be very effective in all aspects of PvP. At level 100 they’re not quite as effective, being a bit down on damage. Some of the changes that came with Warlords of Draenor addressed the issue of tanks (and their lack of damage) in PvP. Tanks in WoD both do more and take more damage, so are somewhere between the DPS classes and the old tanks.
If the max level arenas are your game then consider Frost or Unholy.
If you’re not yet level 100 then you won’t be able to use everything on this page. If are interested in getting your characters, all of them, to max level quickly, take a look at this leveling guide.
Blood Spec Death Knight PvP Contents
Other Death Knight Guides
- Death Knight overview
- Blood Tanking (PvE)
- Frost PvE
- Frost PvP
- Unholy PvE
- Unholy PvP
- Level Faster, Much Faster
Talents for Blood PvP
The “correct” talents will vary with your preferences, your team, what form of PvP you’re doing (2s, 3s, 5s, WPvP, BGs, duels,) phase of the moon and so on. The picks shown below are for general use, but you should feel free to experiment so that you know what all of them do and adjust accordingly.
Tier 1, Level 56:
Tier 2, Level 57:
Tier 3, level 58:
Tier 4, Level 60:
Tier 5, level 75:
Tier 6, level 90:
Tier 7, level 100:
Glyphs for Blood PvP
Legion pretty much did away with almost all of your glyphs. The only ones remaining are cosmetic only, like the old “minor glyphs.”
You now have:
- Glyph of Cracked Ice and Glyph of Dry Ice modify your Path of Frost appearance.
- Glyph of the Chilled Shell and Glyph of the Crimson Shell modify your Anti-Magic Shell appearance.
- Glyph of the Blood Wraith, Glyph of the Unholy Wraith, and Glyph of the Wraith Walker all modify your Wraith Walk appearance.
- Glyph of the Geist and Glyph of the Skeleton modify your ghoul’s appearance.
Nothing like a bloodier looking Anti-Magic shell and Wraith Walk to improve your tanking, right?
Stats for Blood Spec
Legion has killed off Multistrike and Bonus Armor. In addition:
“In Legion, as soon as you zone into a PvP instance, the stats on your gear will be nullified, and you’ll be given a pre-determined set of stats that’s uniquely configured for your specialization. Furthermore, any set bonuses, enchants, Legendary bonuses, or trinket effects will be deactivated (although your Artifact and its related Artifact Powers will remain active).”
All DKs value Strength far above all other stats.
The new stats for Warlords are Multistrike and Versatility. There are some tertiary stats, such as avoidance that sometimes appear on PvE gear, but do not appear on PvP gear. You won’t have to think about them.
- Priorities: Strength > Mastery > Haste > Versatility > Crit
- Mastery creates a shield every time you use Death Strike. Over time this shield will soak a lot of damage. It also increases your Attack Power.
- Bonus armor increases your Attack Power as well as your defense, but it does not appear on PvP gear. On PvE gear it only appear on jewelry and trinkets. If your PvE gear with Bonus Armor is close in item level to the PvP item then go ahead and use it. (The bonus comes from your Bladed Armor ability.)
- Multistrike gives you a chance to have one (two in PvE) additional 30% strike. These can crit and proc anything that the normal strike can proc. Your get an additional 5% Multistrike from all sources due to your Runic Strikes ability. Your auto-attack 2h multistrikes generate 15 Runic Power. Veteran of the Third War adds 10% to your Multistrike. Any of your melee attacks can proc Crimson Scourge and this includes your Multistrikes.
- Mastery if you need more defense, Multistrike for more damage.
- Versatility is an add to your damage (and any healing) and also to your damage reduction. It’s a pretty useful PvP stat if you can get decent quantities of it.
- Haste speeds up everything you do, including Rune regeneration. In full gear your Rune regen will be such that you can do decent damage even in Blood presence. In Unholy Presence it will be even faster.
- Crit adds to your Parry chance via your Riposte ability.
Note that the various tertiary stats (bonus armor, leech, avoidance, gem sockets) are not available on PvP gear.
Blood Spec Gems
Prior to Warlords the high end gear came with a number of gem slots. I warlords they became few and far between and only on gear that was obtained as an award or in an earned box or chest. Also, all gems slots become prismatic, meaning that any gem color would fit into any gem slot.
Legion is following in the same model as Warlords.
If you’re level 90 and under just gem for Strength.
Level 91-100 the gems only add secondary stats, so gem for Mastery.
Level 100+ it looks like gems will again add Str, so gem for that.
- For example: Saber’s Eye of Strength gives +200 Str., if you can find and afford the thing. Other Str gems (blue or green quality) will be much cheaper.
Blood Spec Enchants
Legion allows you to enchant a couple of items.
- Cloak: Enchant Cloak – Word of Strength + 150 Str
- Ring: Enchant Ring – Word of Haste +150 Haste (or Word of Crit or Mastery or Versatility)
- Neck: Enchant Neck – Mark of the Claw +550 to both Haste and Crit. or Enchant Neck – Mark of the Hidden Satyr, which casts an occasional damaging bolt at your enemy.
- None: Chest, head, legs, feet, gloves, shoulder, belt, wrist.
- Weapon: Well, it’s an artifact, but you have an unfair advantage (which will probably be nerfed at some point.) You can put your regular Death Knight runeforges on your artifacts. No one else gets weapon enchants.
- Use your Rune of the Fallen Crusader
And if you’re not yet that level…
Warlords Notes: There are no head enchants, all shoulder enchants come from the Inscription profession and are only for items under item level 600.
There are new enchants for Neck, Cloak, Weapons, and your Rings. Not for any other pieces. (Not yet, anyway.)
Note that the new enchants can be applied to lower level gear, such as your “new character” gear or heirlooms. They will scale down appropriately and scale up as you level.
The enchants are unchanged in patch 6.2.
|Enchantments for Blood|
|Other enchants, for gear under item level 600. None can be applied to ilevel 600+ gear.|
|Shoulders||Greater Tiger Fang Inscription: +15 Str and +5 Crit|
|Chest||Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats: +9 to all Stats|
|Bracers||Enchant Bracer – Exceptional Strength: +15 Str
Enchant Bracer – Mastery: +25 Mastery
|Gloves||Enchant Gloves – Super Strength: +25 Str|
|Belt||Livingsteel Belt Buckle: Sockets your belt, pop in the best gem.|
|Leggings||Angerhide Leg Armor: +19 Str & 11 Crit rating|
|Boots||Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step: +10 Mastery and Slight run speed increase.|
How to Blood PvP
You have several methods to reduce incoming damage, you should probably use them. The better you’re able to read what your opponents are doing the better you can pop the right ability.
Stop All Damage
- Bone Shield for mitigating all damage, not just magical, by 20% for 5 min or 8 hits (6 before you hit level 92,) whichever comes first. Since it lasts awhile (potentially) and has a shortish cooldown you can cast it before the fight starts and then again when you need it. You can add it to your Death Strike in a macro and have it pop up as often as possible or save it for when you need it.
- Icebound Fortitude reduces all damage by 50% (due to Sanguine Fortitude) for 8 seconds and also renders you immune to stun effects. Use this as soon as you see the enemy using his “you will die now” burst to get the full effect of the damage reduction. 3 min cooldown.
- Rune Tap reduces all damage by 40% for three seconds at the cost of one blood rune. It has two charges, so can be used as needed or back to back if a lot of damage is incoming. If your health crashes below 30% then you will get a free Rune Tap charge via Will of the Necropolis, but this can only trigger once every 30 seconds.
Stop Magic Damage
- Anti-Magic Shell is a personal ability that reduces incoming magical damage by 75% for 5 seconds (absorbing up to 50% of your health.) Also prevents magic debuffs from being applied to you. Most of them, anyway.
- Anti-Magic Zone, the talent, if you took it, is a raid wide ability that reduces magic damage by 20%, for three seconds. With it lasting only 3 seconds your timing has to be pretty good.
- Lichborne (talent) grants us temporary immunity to Charm, Fear, and Sleep effects
Step Physical Damage
- Death Strike heals you for a decent amount and also, with your Mastery: Blood Shield, adds a damage shield. Multiple Death Strikes over a short period of time can build up a pretty decent shield. The shield only applies to physical damage.
- Dancing Rune Weapon increases your Parry by 20% for 8 seconds (90 sec. cooldown.) Best used against melee and other physical attacks.
- Riposte adds your Crit rating from your gear to your Parry rating.
- Vampiric Blood is not a damage mitigation/avoidance ability, but rather a healing type of ability. It both increases your max health and any healing you receive for the next ten seconds. The Glyph of Vampiric Blood eliminates the initial health boost and increases the bonus health received from heals. Combine it with your self-heals and you can gain health very quickly.
- Death Strike heal, which is boosted by your blood boil. If you kill someone then your next Death Strike heal will be 100% better. You can also use that heal to help remove the heal absorb from Death Pact (lev 75 talent.)
- Death Grip also interrupts
- Strangulate silences for 5 sec, asphyxiate (talent) stuns for 5 sec.
- Mind Freeze interrupts and silences one school of magic (such as Frost.)
- Chains of Ice slows
- Empower Rune Weapon activates all rune and adds +25 Runic Power. Obviously you should save this for that moment of maximum resource depletion.
- Trinket proc
- Fallen Crusader Str proc.
- Short term team buffs, such as Heroism.
- Dancing Rune Weapon
Stay in melee range to heal (via Death Strike.)
Basically, your “rotation” is simple: Apply DOTs (Diseases,) spread DOTs with Blood Boil, smash ’em with Death Strike.
- Your Blood Boil increases the healing of your next Death Strike, so you’ll be using this ability often. Try to spend only Blood runes on it, if you’re not in the middle of an enemy group.
- If you have Plague Leech follow it up immediately with Outbreak. This will give you more Death Runes and will keep your diseases rolling.
- Death Strike is your “bread and butter” ability. It does damage, puts up a shield, and heals.
- Try to Death Grip after enemies use their Blink or Disengage or similar ability. If you’re farming enemies in a BG or something then try Glyph of Unholy Command to be able to grab a new enemy right after the first one dies.
- Burst: Use your “on use” trinket proc and Dancing Rune Weapon when Fallen Crusader pops. Smash the enemy.
How to Blood PvP
Macros for the Blood DK
This macro is one I’ve been using on an Orc DK that I’m leveling. Orcs have the Blood Fury racial, which increases attack power for a few seconds. Note that you can do the same with any “on use” item or ability, such as a Draenei’s heal, Troll’s berserking, trinkets, etc.
- #showtooltip Death Grip
- /cast Blood Fury(Racial)
- /cast Death Grip
This one Death Coils your mouseover target. You can do the same with any ability, including Death Grip. Mouseover some target, launch the spell, continue to mash your original target.
- #showtooltip Death Coil
- /cast [nomodifier] Death Coil
- /cast [modifier:alt, target=mouseover] Death Coil
Keeping that Bone Shield up. It’s 20% damage reduction (all damage) for 8 hits, why not have it up as often as possible? This macro tried to bring it up every time you Death Strike. ’13’ is your “on use” trinket in the top trinket slot. Make sure that you don’t have your escape trinket in that slot. 😉
‘startattack’ makes sure your auto attack is up and running on the target (you switched targets) even if your runes are down.
#showtooltip Death Strike
/cast Death Strike
/cast Bone Shield
Lichborne macro – casts Lichborne and then Death Coil on yourself to heal.
/cast [target=player] Death Coil